Mark Reutlinger


There is no shortage of creative ways in which teachers of Property law have sought to represent graphically the operation of the Rule Against Perpetuities. I have myself, over the years, tried a number of methods, none of them wholly satisfactory. The reason we all keep trying is that the Rule simply does not lend itself to mere verbal explanation. Although quite easy to state and memorize, each of its terms is saturated with difficult and interrelated concepts that operate on several planes. A future interest must "vest"or fail within 21 years of a "life in being" at the "creation" of the interest: When is an interest created? When does it vest? How? Who are possible lives in being? When does the 21 years begin and end? And so on.

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