The rule against eternity is a prohibition on creating an interest entrusted to one or more beneficiaries whose identity cannot be determined within 21 years of the death of the grantor of that interest (i.e. becomes an absolute present or future right to something that does not depend on an event).1 The main idea behind the rule is to: prevent a person from owning property for an unreasonably long period of time after death. The rule applies to interest on enforcement and possible residues. Interests that the grantor retains (such as reversions and rights of return) are exempt from the rule, since the grantor retains the interest anyway, there is no reason why it cannot control it (it could have controlled it without giving it anyway). The rule against eternity is one of the most difficult questions that law students face.  It is notoriously difficult to apply it correctly: in 1961, the California Supreme Court ruled that it was not an abuse of rights for an attorney to write a will that inadvertently violated the rule.  In the United States, the common law rule has been abolished by law in Alaska, Idaho, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.  4. Jason Oil Co.c.
Littler, 446 pp.3d 1058, 1064 (Kan. 2019). « The distinction between special interests and contingent interests is of great importance for the rule against eternity, because a true self-interest is never repugnant to the rule, while a contingent interest can not only be, but often is. » McEwen v. Enoch, 204 p.2d 736, 739 (Kan. 1949). [Back to text] Of all the rules that have evolved in terms of limiting the ability to transfer goods, the rule against eternity today is the rule against eternity. While the implications of this rule are the most important when it comes to creating trusts (which will be an important topic in the course on wills, trusts, and estates), we will discuss it in this section as it has evolved as a property rule. Unfortunately, the rule against perpetuity is also quite complicated. We will try to break it down into as simple terms as possible. According to NY EPTL 9-1.1 (a), any present or future interest is void if it extends the power of absolute alienation for a period beyond the “life of being” in the creation of the estate, plus 21 years.
The rule only applies to interest that is not transferred within this period. In a trust created with income to X for life and the rest of Y, Y`s interest in creating the trust is vested and determinable and does not violate the rule. However, a trust where X grants “his children” a lifetime income and the rest to “his grandchildren” is invalid because it is acquired only if all the grandchildren were born in a lifetime (at the time the trust was established) plus 21 years. See Turano, McKinney`s Practice Commentaries NY EPTL § 9-1.1. X could have had a child after the trust was founded, but before his death, then his newborn could give birth to a grandchild more than 21 years later. The interest may be too far away, so it is invalid. To fulfill the rule against eternity, the class of people must be limited and determinable.  So one cannot say in a single act: “Until the last of the people now living in the world dies, plus 21 years. To avoid problems caused by poorly worded legal instruments, practitioners in some jurisdictions include a “storage clause” almost everywhere as a form of disclaimer. This standard clause is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy Clause” or the “Rockefeller Clause” because determinable “lives in being” are called descendants of Joseph P. Kennedy (John F. Kennedy`s father) or John D.
Rockefeller. Both refer to well-known families with many descendants and are therefore suitable for named and identifiable lives. For a time, it was popular to use a royal clause for life and let the duration of a charter run until the last of the descendants of (for example) Queen Victoria, who is now alive, died for more than 21 years. [Citation needed] 2. In re Estate of Freeman, 404 P.2d 222, 228 (Kan. 1965) (“It is a sufficient breach of the rule if an interest can be acquired beyond the authorized period.”). [Back to text] Instead of living in this eternal gray area, whether the rule applies or not, Kansas should abolish the rule altogether. Although Little`s rule has not been officially abolished, Kansas lawmakers now have the opportunity to act and follow the example of other states that have abolished the rule. For example, Idaho has abolished the rule of law, declaring that there is “no rule against eternity that applies to real or personal property.”  Similarly, the South Dakota Legislature enacted a law stating that “the common law rule is not in effect in this state for eternity.”  Other states have taken less drastic measures to weaken the effect of the rule, such as.B. the wait-and-see approach, which “allows for some time to be taken to determine whether” an interest is acquired.  Instead of potential events invalidating a promotion, the wait-and-see approach is measured against actual events.
 Although the rule is not completely abolished, the wait-and-see approach to the rule takes away some of its power. It`s time for Kansas to decide whether to abolish or reform the rule to provide guidance on when an interest should be declared invalid. In law school, one of the most complex and seemingly mysterious legal constructs is the rule against perpetuity, which, despite its long existence, is still applied in most states of the United States. In the past, not drafting a document in such a way that it did not violate the rule meant that the document was immediately void, and this would apply even if all parties to the document wanted it to remain in force and simply ignored this rule due to ignorance. In 1986, a new uniform U.S. statutory rule against perpetuities was published, which follows the wait-and-see approach with a flat waiting period of 90 years instead of the rule of living plus 21 years.  In 2018[updated], 31 jurisdictions adopted the new rule: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2015, the New York State Legislature considered whether or not to adopt the new rule.   A recent case of Kings County Surrogate`s Court, Matter of Mandel, N.Y.L.J., May 3, 2012, 21, Col.
3, highlights practitioners` persistent misconception about the rule against eternity….
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