the Rule Against Perpetuities by John Chipman Gray The Rule Against Perpetuities
By John Chipman Gray
2002/03 - Beard Books - Law Classic
Volume I - 463 pp.
1587981157 - Paperback - Reprint
Volume II - 530 pp.
1587981165 - Paperback - Reprint

Attorneys, estate planners, and others who seek to unravel the mysterious and ongoing underpinnings of this Rule will find satisfactory answers in this detailed study.

Publisher Comments

Categories: Bankruptcy & Restructuring | Law | Real Estate | Trusts & Estates

Of Interest:

A Short Historical Introduction to the Law of Real Property

Easements and Servitudes

This extensive treatise elaborates on the legal doctrine governing the creation of future interests in property, especially real property. Doctrines derived from feudal law have all but disappeared through actions of the courts and legislatures, and the law of future interests has been simplified and reduced to the Rule Against Perpetuities. Nevertheless, it is one of the most complicated parts of estate planning, as it can limit the amount of time that property can be controlled after death by a person's instructions in a will.

From the back cover blurb:

The Rule against Perpetuities is aimed at the control of future interests in property, especially real property. The author asserts that it would be better to call it the Rule against Remoteness. Even today, it is one of the most complicated parts of estate planning, as it can limit the amount of time that property can be controlled after death by a person's instructions in a will. This extensive treatise deals with the entirety of the subject, including its history as a doctrine which derived from feudal law, its relations to other parts of the law, and the general principles as they evolved. Attorneys, estate planners, and others who seek to unravel the mysterious and ongoing underpinnings of this Rule will find satisfactory answers in this extensive work.

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John Chipman Gray, 1839-1915, was an American lawyer and law professor. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1861, served in the Civil War and then entered into the practice of law in Boston. In 1869, he began teaching at Harvard Law School and he continued both practice and teaching until the last years of his life. he was a leading advocate of the case system of teaching law and was a recognized authority both in the United States and England on the law of real property. His law firm, Ropes & Gray, is one of the largest, is not the largest, in Boston today. Photo from the Ropes and Gray website.


Introduction 1-4


Future Interests 5-98
I. Real Estate 6-70
   A. Lands of Freehold Tenure 6-69
1. Common Law 6-17.1
Remainders and Reversions 8-11
Rights of Entry 12
Possibilities of Reverter 13, 14
Curtesy and Dower 15
Interests in Land of Others 16, 17
Escheat 17.1
2. Statute De Donis 18,19
3. Statute Quia Emptores 20-51.1
   Tenure and the Statute Quia Emptores in the United States 22-28
Remainders and Reversions 29.1
Rights of Entry 30
Possibilities of Reverter 31-42
Curtesy and Dower 42.1
Rights in Land of Others 43
Escheat and Dissolution of Corporations 44-51.1
4. Statutes of Uses and wills 52-66
(1) Bargain and Sale of Freehold in futuro 56, 57
(2) Contingent Use after Estate for Years 58-60
(3) Bargain and Sale to Person not in esse 61-65
5. Later Legislation 67-68.1
6. Equitable Estates 69
   B. Lands of Copyhold Tenure 70
II. Personal Property 71-97
A. Chattels Real 71-76
B. Chattels Personal 77-97
English Law 77-87.1
American Law 88-97
   Wills 88-90.1
   Deeds 91-97
III. Summary 98


Vested and Contingent Interests 99-118
   I. Real Estate 100-116
Remainders 100-112.1
Reversions 113-113.3
Other Future Interests 114
Escheat 115
Curtesy and Dower 115.1
Equitable Interests 116
   II. Personal Property 117-117.3
Secondary meanings of the term "vested" 118


Postponement of Enjoyment 119-121.8


Origin and History of the Rule against Perpetuities 123-200.1
1. No Question of Remoteness in Early Times -- Possibility on a Possibility 123-134
2. Introduction of Conditional Limitations 135-139
3. Meaning of "Perpetuity" 140-141.6
4. Conditional Limitations at first held Destructible 142-147
5. Executory Devises of Terms Introduced 148-152
6. First Suggestions at the Bar of the Rule against Perpetuities 153-158
7. Slow Judicial  Recognition of the Doctrine of Remoteness 159-168
8. The Rule against Perpetuities Established 169, 170
9. Extension of the Rule to cover the Minority of a Grantee or Devisee 171-175
10. Extension of the Rule to cover Terms in Gross 176-185
11. Extensions of the Rule no to be justified on Principle 186-188
12. Any Number of Lives in esse allowed 189, 190
13. The Connection of the Rule against Perpetuities with the Invalidity of Remainders for Life to Successive Generations 191-199
14. The Rule against Perpetuities in America 200
The Rule against Perpetuities and its Corollaries 201-267
1. Nature of Interest 202-204
2. Vested Interests not subject to the Rule 205-210
3. Nature of Contingency 211-213
4. The Contingency must happen within Limits 214-215.1
5. Lives in Being 216-219.2
6. Period of Gestation 220-222
7. Term of Twenty-one Years 223, 224
8. Limitations of an Estate for Life or not exceeding Twenty-one Years 225-229
9. Covenants to renew Leases 230-230.3
10. Time runs from Testator's Death 231
11. Enough if Interest begins within the Required Limits 232-246
12. Effect of Remote Interests on Prior Limitations 247-250
13. Effect of Remote Interests on Subsequent Limitations 251-258.1
14. Conflict of Laws 259-267


Interests Subject to the Rule against Perpetuities 279-330.3
   Present Rights in Lands of Others not Subject  279-282
I. Legal Interests 283-321.2
   A. Real Estate 283-318
(1) Reversions and Vested Remainders 283
(2) Contingent Remainders 284-298.9
(3) Rights of Entry 299-311.1
(4) Possibilities of Reverter 312, 313
(5) Curtesy and Dower 313.1
(6) Rights in Land of Others 314-316
(7) Escheat 316.1
(8) Conditional Limitations 317
   Copy Holds 318
   B. Personal Property 319-321.2
II. Equitable Interests 322-328
III. Contracts 329-330.3


Separable Limitations 331-368


Limitations to Classes 369-398.2
   Independent Gifts 389-395.1


Limitations to a Series 399-410.5


Trusts 411-422.1


Modifying and Qualifying Clauses 423-442


Limitations after Estates Tail 443-472


Powers 473-561.7
1. If a Power can be exercised at a Time beyond the Limits of the Rule against Perpetuities  It Is Bad 474.1-509.19
2. A Power which cannot be exercised beyond the Limits of the Rule is not rendered bad by the fact that within its Terms an Appointment could be made which would be too Remote 510
3. The Remoteness of an Appointment depends on its Distance from the Creation and not from the Exercise of the Powers 514-530.4
4. Consequences of an Appointment being too Remote 531-540.1
5. Election 541-561.7


Mortgages 562-571.1
Rights at Law 562, 563
Rights in Equity 564-571.1


Customary Rights 572-588


Charitable Trusts 589-628


Construction 629-670
Cy pres 643-670


Accumulations 671-679.1


A. Charities for Definite Persons 680-685.1
B. The Thellusson Act 686-727
C. Legislative Changes in the United States 728-752.1
D. Foreign Law 753-773
I. Scotch Law 753-773
II. Roman Law 761, 762
III. French Law 763, 764
IV. Law of Other Countries 765
V. Law of Louisiana 766-772
VI. Law of Texas 773
E. Determinable Fees 774-788
F. Future Interests in Personal Property 789-856
G. General and Particular Intent 857-893
H. Gifts to Indefinite Persons for Non-Charitable Purposes 894-909.2
I. Conversion and the Rule against Perpetuities 910-917
J. Contingent Remainder of Executory Limitation 918-930
K. Whitby v. Mitchell 931-947
L. General Testamentary Powers and the Rule against Perpetuities 948-969
M. Vested Remainders and the Rule against Perpetuities 970-974
N. Effect of the Statute quia Emptores on Tenure 175-89
Index Page 835

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