Mancipatio is a formal process required during the Roman era to complete the sale or conveyance of res mancipi. The parties were present, (vendor and vendee,) with five witnesses and a person called “Ubripens,” who held a balance or scales. A set form of words was repeated on either side, indicative of transfer of ownership, and certain prescribed gestures performed, where the vendee then struck the scales with a piece of copper, thereby symbolizing the payment, or weighing out, of the stipulated price.
The ceremony of mancipatio was then again used in later times, in one of the forms of the making of a will. The testator acted as vendor, and the heirs (or familice emptor) as purchaser, the latter symbolically “buying the whole estate, or succession, of the former”. It was also used by a father in making a fictitious sale of his son, which sale, when three times repeated, effectuated the release of the son. This is the premise of succession planning.
Fidus (Fiduciary) as set by the romans described a relation existing when one person justifiably reposes confidence, faith, and reliance in another whose aid, advice, or protection is sought in some matter. The relation exists when good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of another with loyalty to those interests. The relation by law existing between certain classes of persons.
Today, this concept is commonly referred to as Trust or Fiduciary relationship such as acting as a confidential advisor, executors or administrators and legatees or heirs, corporate directors or officers and shareholders; majority and minority shareholders, factors.
Mancipatio tailors bespoke trust structures and advisory services to individuals, families and institutional clients irrespective of complexity. Mancipatio’s independence from large service providers gives it the freedom to tailor its advisory to best suit the client’s needs.