Cestui Que Use Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cestui Que Use, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Cestui Que Use?

(n) Cestui Que Use is the person who is named in a trust to derive future benefit, pleasure of usage from the property or asset held by the trust on behalf of such beneficiary. The French word is pronounced as ‘see-tee kay use

History and Meaning of Cestui Que Use

The term "Cestui Que Use" has its roots in medieval England, where land ownership was closely tied to social status and legal rights. Under the feudal system, only noble landowners had full legal control over their properties, while peasants and other commoners were often subject to the control of lords and other powerful individuals. To get around these restrictions, people started using trusts to give beneficial ownership of their land to trusted intermediaries, who then held the property on behalf of the true owner.

The term "Cestui Que Use" refers to the person who is the beneficiary of a trust, and who is entitled to the use and enjoyment of the trust property. In this context, the trustee holds legal title to the property, but the cestui que use holds equitable title, which gives them the right to use and benefit from the property. In modern times, the term is still used in legal contexts to refer to the beneficiary of a trust, although it has largely fallen out of use in everyday language.

Examples of Cestui Que Use

  • A wealthy individual establishes a trust to hold their assets on behalf of their children. The children are named as the cestui que use of the trust, and are entitled to draw income and use assets from the trust as they see fit.

  • A charity sets up a trust to hold donations from benefactors. The cestui que use of the trust is the charity itself, which has the right to use the donated assets to advance its charitable mission.

  • An artist creates a trust to hold their artwork and related intellectual property. The cestui que use of the trust is the public, which has the right to view and enjoy the art, and benefit from any proceeds generated by its sale or licensing.

Legal Terms Similar to Cestui Que Use

  • Beneficiary: a person or entity that is entitled to receive the benefits of a trust, estate, or other legal arrangement.

  • Trustee: a person or entity that holds legal title to property on behalf of another person or entity, and is responsible for managing that property in accordance with the terms of the trust or other legal arrangement.

  • Equitable title: the right to use and benefit from property, even though legal title is held by another person or entity. Equitable title is often associated with trusts and other legal arrangements where the true owner of the property is not the legal owner.