• In Dyer v Dyer [1788] it was held that where one party pays the entire amount for the sale if a property, he presumptively retains the entire beneficial interest in that property, because of a resulting trust.
  • This is only a presumption though, and evidence may indeed by adduced to rebut it.

Facts of the case:

  • Mr Dyer paid a sum of money to purchase a legal estate in the name of himself, his wife and his eldest son.
  • Mr Dyer and his wife subsequently died, thereby leaving all his assets to Mr Dyer’s youngest son. The youngest son then purported to take possession of the properties within the estate that Mr Dyer purchased, on the basis that there was a resulting trust in his favour, as his father had purchased them in their entirety.
  • The oldest son argued that because he was the join legal owner of the estate, the land had been advanced to him by his father, and thereby he was beneficially entitled to the entire estates.
  • The youngest son however, sated that because the property was paid for in its entirety by the father, the youngest son remained beneficially entitled to the entire equitable interests and as such, he should take possession of the properties.

Issue in Dyer v Dyer [1788] :

  • The issue in the case was whether the younger son or the eldest son was entitled to all of the properties within the estate, and therefore, whether an individual retains the entire beneficial interest if they pay for a property in its entirety.

The Exchequer Court held:

  • The father retained, presumptively, the entirety of the beneficial interest in the property, because he had paid for the property in its entirety.

Lord Chief Baron Eyre:

  • “The trust of a legal estate, whether freehold, copyhold or leasehold; whether taken in the names of the purchasers and other jointly, or in the names of others without that of the purchaser; whether in the one name or several; whether jointly or successive- results to the man who advances the purchase-money”

Editor’s notes

  • In this case it is important to note that it is only a presumption that he who pays the for the property is the one that owns the beneficial interest. Evidence may be adduced suggesting that the purchasing of the property was a gift, or a loan, and that would displace such a presumption.