Thursday, June 16, 2005

"To A, so long as it is not used as a crematoria, in which case to B."

I certainly hope it is obvious to you by now that the above written Land Transfer above is VOID as to B. Why? It blatantly flaunts the Rule Against Perpetuities, that's why! Haven't you been paying attention AT ALL?

B's future interest -- B's shifting executory interest, to be exact -- will be written out of the document by law, giving A a fee simple absolute instead of a fee subject to condition subsequent.

Ok, let me explain it to you AGAIN. Sigh. It violates the Rule Against Perpetuities because B's interest could vest farther into the future than "a life in being plus 21 years." The "measured life" in being here is A, who could be long dead, dead more than 21 years, when his heirs screw up and start burning bodies. What, make B the "measured life" you say? No, that won't work either, because A's heirs could screw up more than 21 years after B is dead also.

A couple little exceptions you should know about. The transfer is ok if B is the grantor himself. True, B may already be dead more than 21 years when A or his heirs get the urge to turn some corpses to ash, but so long as the grantor was alive when the transfer took place, its fine, thr property will go to B's heirs.

Because -- and honestly, I feel like I have explained this 50 times-- future interests to the grantor NEVER violate the Rule Against Perpetuities, and ALL future interests in defeasible fees, including of course the Possibility of Reverter at work here, are alienable, devisable, and descendible.

And if A and B happen to be charities, then its fine also. The great Common Law may be harsh, but its stewards are not mean.

Erica might disagree. Erica, who sits next to me during the Bar/Bri lectures, and appears to be very smart and together, told me today that when she took Property, during her first year of law school, she cried every day for three weeks. Our Bar/Bri Property lecturer published a book for law students called, "Throw Your Fears Out the Window," and her students put together a sequel named "Throw Yourself Out the Window."

Compared to subjects I studied 17 years ago, like Contracts, my knowledge of Property is pristine -- I've never studied it at all before this Summer. Which may be why I am sitting here conducting his internal monologue with myself, and posting it here, instead of actually working.

I may be losing perspective. You may be too. Let me ask you just one last question, and I want you to think about it carefully: Can You Even Imagine a World Without Hypotheticals?

3 Comments:

Blogger joe said...

had to read it like four times...but i got it

10:38 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

It's not hypothetical. ILY. h.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Mobius Mundi said...

Take a look at Norman F. Cantor's:
"In the Wake of the Plague : The Black Death and the World It Made," it contains a wondeful section on the relationship between the Plague and modern property law.

10:19 PM  

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