Whether HUF Can Be A Trustee / Settler ?

It has often been debated whether HUF can settle a Trust by becoming a Settlor (i.e., a person who can create a trust). In this regard, it is pertinent to refer to the provisions of the Indian Trust Act, 1882. Section 7 of the Indian Trust Act, 1882 defines a settlor as follows:

A trust may be created —

a) by every person competent to contract

There is a sub-section (b) also to this section, which is not produced here as it is not relevant here.

A person competent to contract is defined by Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 as follows:

Every person is competent to contract:

a)         who is of the age of majority according to law to which he is subject to

b)         who is of sound mind’

c)         Who is not disqualified from contracting by any law to which he is subject.

Thus, it is important to note that it is only a person who is competent to contract can form a trust.

The definition of the word “person” under the Income-tax Act,- 1961 as defined in Section 2(31) of the Act includes a Hindu Undivided family, but for the purposes of the Indian Trust Act, 1882, the definition of the person as given in the Income Tax Act,1961 cannot be applied and in absence of a definition of the word person in the Indian Trust Act,1882, the definitipn as given by the General Clauses Act,1897 has to be applied. The word person has been defined by Section 3(42) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 as follows:“

Person” shall include any company or association or body of individuals whether incorporated or not.

Thus, it can be seen that the definition of the word person as given in the General Clauses Act,1897 is an inclusive definition and not an exclusive definition and it includes Company, Association as well Body of Individuals whether incorporated or not.

In view of the above, a HUF being competent to contract and being an Association of Persons can very well settle a Trust. Reference in this regard can be had to the decision of the Apex court in the case of CIT vs Ratilal Nathalal(1954) 25 ITR 426 wherein the Apex Court was dealing. with a case of a settlement of a Trust by HUF.

Moreover, it is important to note that the rights of alienation of the trust property vested with the karta are limited to that for the benefit of the members of the HUF and therefore, it essentially follows that any trust which is settled by a HUF should be for the benefit of its members and the adult members should pass a resolution of forming the Trust.


According to Section 10 of the Indian Trust Act, Every person capable of holding property may be a trustee; but where the trust involves the exercise of discretion, he cannot execute it unless he is competent to contract.

We have seen as above that the word lrustee has not been defined in the Trust Act and therefore following the general meaning as above, a HUF can become trustee of a trust.

Rights of Karta to alienate the Properties of HUF in a Trust

However, it is important to note that the rights of alienation of the trust property vested with the. Karta are limited to that for the benefit of the members of the HUF and therefore it essentially follows that any trust which is settled by a HUF should be for the benefits of its members only. A number of court cases have time and again dealt upon this issue. In this regard, the Apex Court in the case of Moti La! Chhadami La! fain vs CIT, 1991 Supp (1) SCC 229 1=(1991) 190 ITR 1], while dealing with a case where the Karta of a HUF had settled some properties belonging to HUF in a Trust whose sole trustee was the karta held as follows in Para 22.

22. We are of the opinion that the view of the High Court proceeds on an unduly narrow construction of the deeds of 1947 and 1960. We have pointed out that, under the deed of 1947, the karta of the assessee family is the sole trustee to execute the objects of the Trust. It appears to have been overlooked that while a registered conveyance to the trustees by the owner of immovable property is necessary where the trustees are persons other than the author, this requirement does not arise where the author of the trust is to be the sole trustee. While a trust is not complete until the trust property is vested in trustees for the benefit of the cestui que trust, this can be done by the settlor, where he is himself the trustee, by a declaration of trust, using language which, taken in connection with his acts, shows a clear intention on his part to divest himself of all beneficial interest in it and to exercise dominion and control over it exclusively in the character of a trustee. Section 6 of the Indian Trusts Act, makes this clear beyond all doubt. In the present case there is a deed which makes clear the unequivocal intention to utilise the income from the properties in the manner set out in the deed of trust.

Thus, in the aforesaid case though on the date when the properties were settled, there was no registered document by which the property was transferred, but the Apex Court held the settlement to valid in view of the fact that settler was the sole trustee and the intention was clear and unequivocal.


HUF -  Capital Gain Account
HUF -  Deduction from HUF Business Income
Income Derived From Funds Of HUF -Whether Individual Income Or Family Income
Gift by HUF to its Member
Gift To Minor Daughters Out Of HUF Property Prior To Marriage
Gift of HUF Property to Stranger or to any Person who is a Alien to HUF
Clubbing Provisions In Case Of Gifts Received By HUF
Applicability of Clubbing Provisions in case Karta of a HUF is a Partner in a Firm
Gifts received by HUF from Aliens / Strangers
HUF - Investment Options
Concept of Multiple HUF’s
Whether a Single Member can Constitute a HUF ?
Whether any Limit is placed on Number of Members of a HUF ?
Whether HUF- Can Be Constituted with only Female Members ?
Drawings / Expenses of HUF
Whether HUF can be a Shareholder / Subscriber to the MOA ( Memorandum Of Association)  of a Company
Whether HUF can be a Member of a Cooperative Society ?
Whether HUF can be a Partner ?
Can KARTA of a HUF enter into Partnership with another Member of HUF ?
Can There Be A Partnership Between Two HUFs?
Effect Of Death Of Karta In Case Of Partnership Firm
Whether HUF Can Be A Proprietor ?
Whether HUF Can Be A Trustee / Settler ?
HUF - Aliyasantana Law
HUF - Marumakkattayam Law
Power of KARTA in relation to HUF
Managing Members in relation to HUF
Whether a Female can become a Karta ?
Tax Planning TIPS for HUF
HUF - Meaning Of Important Term- “Ancestral”
HUF - Meaning Of Important Term- “Stridhan”
HUF - Meaning Of Important Term- “Mitakshara”
HUF - Meaning Of Important Term- “ Dayabhaga”
Meaning of the term ‘Coparcener’ of HUF
Power of ‘Coparcener’ of HUF
Difference between a ‘Coparcener’ and a ‘Member’
Whether Husband / Wife Can Constitute A HUF ?
‘Maintenance of Accounts’ by HUF
‘Audit of Accounts’ by HUF
Applicability Of The ‘Accounting Standards’ On HUF
Whether Merger Of Two HUF is Possible ?
Residential Status of the HUF under I.T. Act.1956
‘Coparcener Property’ under HUF
Tally.ERP9 Book Online Order Tally.ERP9 Book Content
Tax Management
Computation of Gross Total Income
FAQ on Taxation System
CORPORATE TAX (Taxation in Companies)
Amendment of Sections at a Glance for Assessment Year 2019-2020 under Income Tax Act.
GST (Goods & Service Tax ) Taxation System In India
HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) Taxation System, Tax Planning & Tax Saving
Tax Guide for NRI - Tax Planning, Tax Saving, Investment Guidance for Non-Resident Indians !
Tax Management - Managerial & Financial Decisions
Business Tax Procedure & Management
LIBRARY @ Tax Management
TAX & INVESTMENT GUIDE FOR "NRI"- Non-Resident Indians !
PRESCRIBED FORMS WITH with Section / Rules
Tax Tutorials
E-Payment Of Direct Taxes
Filing Of Return Of Income
Interest for Delay in Filing the Return of Income [Section 234 A]
Interest for default in Payment of Advance Tax [Section 234B]
Provisions Of 'Income-Tax Law' Useful For Non-Residents
MAT (Minimum Alternate Tax)
AMT ( Alternative Minimum Tax)
Tax On Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG)
Tax On Short-Term Capital Gains (STCG)
Exemption[ Section-54] For Capital Gains Arising On Transfer Of Residential House Property
Tax Treatment Of Gifts Received By An Individual Or HUF
Set Off And Carry Forward Of Loss Under The Income-Tax Act
Interest For Delay In Payment of TDS/TCS And For Non-Payment Of Tax Demanded
Tax Deduction/Collection Account Number (TAN)
How to apply for PAN ?
Refund Of Excess Tax Paid By The Taxpayer (Sections - 237 to 245 )
Presumptive Taxation Scheme of Section 44AD
Presumptive Taxation Scheme of Section 44ADA
Presumptive Taxation Scheme of Section 44AE
Deduction in respect of Life Insurance Premium, PPF, NSC, etc. [Section 80C]
Deduction in respect of Medical Insurance Premium [Section 80D]
Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) from Interest, other than Interest on Securities (Section-194A)
Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) from Interest on Securities (Section 193)
Late Filing Fees And Penalty For Failure To Furnish/Delay In Furnishing The TDS/TCS Statements

Most Popular Links :

Clubing of Income Deduction U/s 80C
Allowances Us-17(3) Exemption-Salary
Tax Amendment-2015 Taxable Income
Clubing of Income Tax Deductions
HUF Deduction HUF Investment
Gift by HUF HUF Tax Planning Tips
Tax Saving Schemes Tax Planning Tips
Refund of Tax Fringe Benefit Tax-FBT
Return Filing Assessment / Scrutiny
Notice from I.T. Dept. Incomes Types @ TDS
Exemptions-Tax Returns “Summon” U/s 131
'Black Money' @ I.Tax Big Gifts To Be Taxed
'Appeals' under I.Tax Assessment @ I.Tax
Exempted Incomes Capital Gain
Business & Professions House Property
Salaries @ I.Tax Partnership Firm
'Penalty' under I.Tax Act. Tax Ready Reckoner
Charitable Trust Useful Links @ I.Tax

All efforts are made to keep the content of this site correct and up-to-date. But, this site does not make any claim regarding the information provided on its pages as correct and up-to-date. The contents of this site cannot be treated or interpreted as a statement of law. In case, any loss or damage is caused to any person due to his/her treating or interpreting the contents of this site or any part thereof as correct, complete and up-to-date statement of law out of ignorance or otherwise, this site will not be liable in any manner whatsoever for such loss or damage.

The visitors may click here to visit the web site of Income Tax Department for resolving their doubts or for clarifications

Tally.ERP9 Book Online Order Tally.ERP9 Book Content