This answer will open the eyes of some people. If you skip it, you’ll never know exactly how you relate to yourself and to the ‘system.’ Consider this a ‘redpill’ answer in a small way.

Get some coffee … and Aspirin. Or arsenic.

First of all, Cestui Que Vie is pronounced “setticky-vee” or “settikay-vee” in true English manner.


The short (and happy-sounding) explanation is in two parts:—

  1. If you haven’t noticed that you’re alive every 7 years, the government takes control of your estate as if you’re dead.
  2. You always need representation when involved in legal matters because you’re ‘dead’ in legal doctrine.

So the Act could be made into a movie called “The Legalistically Dead Island.”


The Cestui Que Vie Act 1666 (18 & 19 Car 2 c.11) (“CQV Act”) was enacted in Britain during the reign of King Charles II in the aftermath of the Black Plague(1665) and the Great Fires of London (1666). The Act is still in force in the UK and was most recently amended in 2010.

The original enactment was written in Latin and French and came in a preamble and four parts (I–IV). Parts I and IV of the Act are still law in the UK. Parts II and III were repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1888 (c.3) and section 3 of the Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c.62).

The CQV Act is a prime example of legal obfuscation and legal deception.But the obfuscation and deception are necessary for the normal functioning of the legal rights of the people. It is also a prime example of supreme legal thinking from the English that many, many other countries have not been able to catch up with.


1666. London was now in flames. The standard narrative until fairly recent times was that the Great Fires of London was the result of sabotage to destabilise the government. (You decide whether it’s sabotage or accident.) The fires came on the aftermath of the Black Plague (1665) that killed millions across Europe.

In the aftermath of the plague and the fires, millions of British people died and their estates left in limbo. Parliament enacted the CQV Act in a special closed-door session in 1666. The Act was to subrogate the rights of the people by declaring all men and women in England dead (“lost beyond the seas”), using admiralty law (the law of the sea) as the operating legal framework.

The government took everyone and their property into trust, and kept control of both until a living man or woman comes back to reclaim their titles — by proving they were alive, entitled to the limbo estates, and so that claims for damages could be made.


‘Subrogate’ means to substitute one creditor for another (such as an insurance company sues the person who caused an accident for the insured).

In that sense, the CQV Act substituted the natural person with a legal fiction to hold his rights in trust until the natural person eventually finds a way back to reclaim his rights (and maybe seek damages from the relevant parties).

And that is the reason for calling it “cestui que vie” (French for ‘he who lives’ — in the context of “the person for whom a benefit exists’: a beneficiary). Therefore the cestui que vie means the legal ‘life’ expectancy of that legal ‘person’ for measuring various things — the duration of a trust, gift, insurance contract, property rights, land rights, etc. It can also mean the person that a life-insurance policy is drawn on.

Although CQV has roots in ancient Roman law, the 1666 Act’s doctrinal model is on the 12th-century papal “Claim of Rights” (still in force in the Vatican) — bottom line, to ‘own’ all goods, lands and people. The Act’s purpose was of course different from the papal one.


Ultimately, the Act is why you always need representation in legal matters — because you’re doctrinally dead!

The deceptive wording of the Act (in French and Latin too) makes this law difficult to work with and apply. This means when used in court, the Act is always a judge’s interpretation of it. That interpretation can swing any number of directions — producing a rule that can be intentionally or unintentionally biased. In any case, one or more of the litigants end up receiving an injustice — which sounds more terrible than it actually is.

Part I of the Act is worth quoting:—

[I.]. Cestui que vie remaining beyond Sea for Seven Years together and no Proof of their Lives, Judge in Action to direct a Verdict as though Cestui que vie were dead.

Translated into layman’s language:— If you haven’t noticed that you’re alive every 7 years, the government takes control of your estate as if you’re dead

Here’s a highly condensed version of its operation:—

  1. The State (government, the Crown) is an unincorporated entity. Why unincorporated? It’s private.
  2. Any country’s CQV law empowers the State to take custody of everybody (and their property) into a trust because of some event or state of affairs. The State is the trustee holding all titles to the people and their property — until a living person comes back to reclaim those titles. If and when that happens, that ‘living person’ can also claim damages.
  3. The CQV law creates and owns the legal fiction of the “John/Jane Doe Corporation” — the cestui que trust (UK, Australia, New Zealand) but more usually “strawman” (Canada, USA).
  4. The only way out of this:— Reclaim your dead entity, become the executor, collapse the strawman, forgive yourself of your debts — and then remove yourself from the admiralty law that held you in the first place.

The original purpose and function of a Cestui Que Trust (“CQ trust”) was to form a temporary estate for the benefit of another because some event, condition or state of affairs prevented the person from claiming his status as living, competent and present before an authority. All CQ trusts are created on one or more presumptions based on its original purpose and function — it cannot be created if those presumptions cannot be proven to exist. A CQ trust may only exist for 70 years (being the traditionally accepted legal life expectancy of the normal estate).

Automatically false and null and void will be any claims, history, statutes or arguments that deviate in terms of the CQ trust’s origin and functions.

The beneficiary under estate may be either a beneficiary or a CQ trust. When a beneficiary loses direct benefit of any property of the higher estate placed in CQ trust on his behalf, he doesn’t ‘own’ the CQ trust — he is only the beneficiary of what the trustees of the CQ trust choose to provide him.

Confused yet?

You can see why the largely illiterate English people of 1666 would have no hope in heaven or hell of even grasping the general idea behind the Act.


The Act’s legal fiction is a construct on paper. “Estate in trust” is the usual legal term.

For the USA, the Act has given rise to the U.S. rule against perpetuities, which varies from state to state.

We’re ‘dead’ legal fiction

When you get a court summons (or perhaps a bill for payment), your name is always in capital letters (“JOHN DOE”). Like on tombstones, the caps signify ‘death’ — they are writing to the ‘dead’ legal fiction version of you.

Analogy of us to shipping vessels and the matter of ‘birth’

We are likened to a shipping vessel (once living, now dead) — and a legal fiction was created when someone informed the government that there was a new vessel in port, based on your birth.

Therefore, my birth certificate issued by the doctor is as ships given ‘berth’ certificates at the dock, so to speak. I come from the ‘waters’ of my mother. My mother is a birth canal (just like the berth canal for a ship). The ship moves by ocean currents, just as I move by currency in life. So the whole thing boils down to … commerce and shipping law.

All people are therefore viewed to be in the custody of Rex or Regina (king, queen) — the Crown, the government, the State. This allows people to function in life and in commerce and to accept benefits by the State. The markets and merchants (all of us) work according to mercantile law, which comes from admiralty law.

Bottom line, you’re just an empty shipping vessel floating on the sea of commerce. Your birth is the result of you coming from the waters and canal of your mother. It is where and how we are ‘owned’ through the use of birth certificates. And because births are statutorily required for registration, it means parents are legally required to be tricked into registering the births of their babies. And later on in life, we as the shipping vessels get traded on the “stock exchange of life” every day under the CQV’s admiralty law and mercantile law, put into a trust if need be, and get out of it when we can.

If it’s a conspiracy, it’s a useful one

All this information relates to how the general public are still legally tied through maritime/admiralty law. Through this ancient legal construct, we can easily be controlled or duped, depending on the complexion of our government. Learning about your legal fiction(s) might help to unlock yourself. To understand the doctrinal and legal principles behind the CQV is to understand who we are as individuals — and how each of us relate to the ‘system.’

That being said, the CQV (and the Act) isn’t some kind of overarching Illuminati or New World Order conspiracy. It’s a very useful way to deal with legal issues after some catastrophic event or state of affairs.

The doctrinal ‘mobile-home car’ on the road

More prosaically, the understanding from the CQV Act 1666 is that, where you have money and commerce, you have loss and bankruptcy, both of which then play into ‘justice’ and ‘injury’ — before you can understand the doctrines of the judiciary. In the public sphere, we are all operating in doctrinal ‘bankruptcy’ and you receive doctrinal ‘benefits’ from the state.

When we accept a summons, we accept the existence of the claim — yet only the ‘dead’ can be summoned. So there is an obligation to accept any liability that the law has created for that matter.

As we are living and operating in admiralty, literally any plea (guilty, not guilty) admits jurisdiction. The legal fiction ‘strawman’ is always ‘guilty’ in the doctrinal sense. Lawyers make a living out of creating (and solving) legal controversy. And by being involved in that controversy, you become liable for the case doctrinally.

That then plays into the notion of ‘honour’ vs. ‘dishonour.’ When you accept a claim and settle (discharge) it, you remain in honour. And when you add conditions (“I accept on proof of claim and proof of loss”), this throws the liability back at the other party. The legal fiction is always guilty.

Only in the courts can the real man or woman appear. Games are played on courts (hence law courts). It’s a game with actors acting on acts. It has to be treated as a game and a business.

Don’t be misled by courtroom dramas on TV and movies.

Final word

It takes a lot of time, effort and study to understand the true doctrines and use tools like the CQV Act. You have to be prepared to go through the process in full (and be highly confused in the process). Getting the right tools out of the toolbox at the right time isn’t quite the same as using it the right way either.

Oddly enough, the CQV Act makes some sense to me. If someone disappears, then you have to do something about it for the sake of the people left behind otherwise estates couldn’t be sorted out — probate could never be obtained; people with missing family members couldn’t access family bank accounts, move house, remarry or claim death insurance; or jointly owned businesses would be in limbo forever. For instance, I knew someone left in this position (spouse went out one day and never seen again) — and seven years is a very long time indeed to be in legal and financial limbo.

Update (09 Nov 2016):—

The Cestui Que Vie Act 1707 (6 Ann c. 72) isn’t the same as Cestui Que Vie Act 1666 (18 & 18 Car 2 c. 11).

Of the 1707 Act, certain words of enactment were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1888 (c. 2) and remainder omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c. 62)s. 3.

Moreover, there is another Cestui Que Vie Act 1540 (32 Hen 8 c. 37), which again differs in purpose to the 1666 and 1707 Acts. The 1540 Act was partly repealed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (15 & 16 Geo 5 c. 23), and the remainder by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1969 (c. 52).



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