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Settlor v Settler

Don't say that: 

A settlor is a person that "settles" property in a trust
A settler is a person who takes possession of land, often without lawful title.

Do say this: 

"Joe settled the sum 2,000 on his niece."

Joseph settled on a plot of land.


"Joe settled the sum 2,000 on his niece" which means that he placed 2,000 in a trust for the benefit of his niece. The trustee takes legal ownership of the 2,000 while his niece is known as the beneficial owner. Joe is, therefore, a settlor.

Joseph saw a plot of land and built his house on it even though he had no formal legal right to it. Joseph is, therefore a settler because he "settles" on the land.

The difference between -er and -or words is to remove confusion, even though they are audibly similar. Some people emphasise the last syllable to make it plain which they mean but that is widely seen as an affectation.

Note: the word "settle" is also used for a particular type of high-backed church bench popular in some reformist sects and designed to make sure that people faced forward during, e.g., a sermon.


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