Journal Article

The Presumptions of Resulting Trust and Advancement in Singapore: Unfairness to The Woman?

Ruth S. Yeo

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 123-150
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebq001
The Presumptions of Resulting Trust and Advancement in Singapore: Unfairness to The Woman?

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The article examines the resurgence of the modified twin presumptions of resulting trust and advancement in family cases in Singapore, comparing the Singapore position with the current UK law as elucidated in Stack v Dowden. It analyses the impact that the heavily fact–based inquiry enjoined by the Singapore Court of Appeal has on the woman in the relationship. The operation of the presumption of resulting trust gives rise to a real possibility of undermining joint tenancies in favour of a tenancy-in-common in equity, proportionate to the respective contributions of the couple. This tends to generate prejudice towards women as statistics reveal that their average income is still far less than that of men if they work at all. Additionally, the burden is on the woman to prove the presumption of advancement and its strength—a daunting and complex task. The article also discusses a qualitative study undertaken by the author, which involved interviewing a sample of conveyancers regarding, inter alia, how they advise the woman about the implications of joint tenancies and manner of holding. Current conveyancing practice is then analysed though the lens of legal and sociological theory. The article concludes with suggestions for reform on two grounds: refining the conveyancing process to ensure that women are better equipped to make decisions that safeguard their rights and modifying the law to ameliorate the unfairness caused to women by the current Singapore version of the twin presumptions.

Journal Article.  11610 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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