WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “LEGAL TITLE” AND “BENEFICIAL INTEREST”?
Generally, the owner of property has both the legal title and the beneficial interest in the property. Legal title is that part of ownership which enables the owner to control the property. Examples include the power to open or close bank or investment accounts, or to buy or transfer property. The holding of legal title is generally shown by the owner’s name on the ownership documentation (e.g. investment account forms, title deeds, share certificates or registers, etc.).
The beneficial interest in property is the entitlement to the property’s economic benefits. Examples include interest, dividends, rents or proceeds from the sale of property.