Future Interests – Rule Against Perpetuities – Actual Rather than Possible Facts as Determining Certainty of Vesting
T died testate, leaving a life estate to her children A and B, with the remainder to granddaughter C. The will further provided that if other body heirs of A and B survived their deaths, then such heirs should share equally with CT‘s brothers and sisters or their representatives. A and B survived but T died without further issue. Later C also died without issue. X held conveyances deeding to him the interests of the estates of A, B, C, and T. Suit was brought to determine the rights in the land as between X and the representatives of T‘s brothers and sisters. The trial court transferred the case without ruling. The state supreme court held, the gift did not violate the rule against perpetuities. The perpetuities issue can be determined on the basis of the facts which actually occur, rather than on the basis of those which may happen viewed as of the death of the testator. Alternatively, where there are two contingencies one of which is bound to happen within the period of the rule and the other of which may not, the first may be considered valid. Merchants National Bank v. Curtis, (N.H. 1953) 97 A. (2d) 207.