Rule Against Perpetuities – Recent Legislation in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut

Three very significant statutes dealing with the rule against perpetuities and containing identical language in their important provisions have recently been passed in Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut. There are three basic provisions. (1) In applying the rule against perpetuities to an interest limited to take effect at or after the termination of one or more life estates in, or lives of, persons in being when the period of the rule begins to run, the validity of the interest shall be determined on the basis of the facts existing at the termination of the life estates or lives. (2) If any interest would violate the rule against perpetuities because it is contingent upon any person attaining or failing to attain an age in excess of 21, the age contingency shall be reduced to 21 as to all persons subject to the same age contingency. (3) A fee simple determinable or fee simple subject to a condition subsequent shall become a fee simple absolute if the specified contingency does not occur within 30 years from the date when the fee simple determinable or fee simple subject to condition subsequent becomes possessory. This also applies when the succeeding interest is limited to a person other than the grantor or his heirs. However, if such a fee is limited so that the specified contingency must happen within the period of the rule against perpetuities, such interests shall take effect as ·limited. This provision does not apply where the fee interest and the succeeding interests are both given for public, charitable, or religious purposes. Mass. Laws Ann. (1955) c. 184A, §§1 to 3; Me. Rev. Stat. (1954; Supp. 1955) c. 160, §§27 to 29; Conn. Laws (1955) p. 269.