The Rise of the Perpetual Trust


For more than two centuries, the Rule against Perpetuities has served as the chief means of limiting a transferor's power to tie up property by way of successive contingent interests. But recently, at least seventeen jurisdictions in the United States have enacted statutes abolishing the Rule in the case of perpetual (or near-perpetual) trusts. The prime mover behind this important development has been the federal Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax. This Article traces the gradual decline of the common law Rule against Perpetuities, considers the dynamics behind the recent wave of state legislation, examines the problems that might result from the rise of perpetual trusts, and suggests some possible solutions.

About the Author

Jesse Dukeminier is a Late Maxwell Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles. James E. Krier is an Earl Warren DeLano Professor of Law, University of Michigan.

By uclalaw