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The Rule against Perpetuities

The Rule against Perpetuities

No future interest is valid unless it can be shown that it will necessarily vest, if at all, no later than 21 years after some life in being at the creation of the interest.

The Rule against Perpetuities is one of the most complicated rules of law. The rule itself, as set forth above, is quite easy to grasp; however, the difficulty is in its application.

What Does the Rule against Perpetuities Really Mean?

The common law disfavored property being held perpetually in trust. The purpose of the Rule against Perpetuities, briefly stated, was to foster the marketability of property. In essence, the Rule against Perpetuities voids any agreement that does not conclude 21 years after a life in being or one generation after those lives presently in being, plus 21 years.

State law

State law on the Rule against Perpetuities varies somewhat from one state to another. Accordingly, the applicable state law should be consulted for further details.

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