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Rule against Perpetuities

Vesting, Wait And See Statutes

Under the COMMON LAW, the principle that no interest in property is valid unless it vests not later than twenty-one years, plus the period of gestation, after some life or lives in being which exist at the time of the creation of the interest.

The courts developed the rule during the seventeenth century in order to restrict a person's power to control perpetually the ownership and possession of his or her property after death and to ensure the transferability of property. The rule includes the period of gestation to cover cases of posthumous birth.

FURTHER READINGS

Dobris, Joel C. 2000. "The Death of the Rule Against Perpetuities, or the RAP Has No Friends—An Essay." Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 35 (fall): 601–65.

"Dynasty Trusts and the Rule Against Perpetuities." 2003. Harvard Law Review 116 (June): 2588–2609.

Gray, John Chipman. 2003. The Rule Against Perpetuities. Union, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Life in Being; Second Look Doctrine.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Roberts v. United States Jaycees to Secretary of State