Rule Against Perpetuities

Project Details

The Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP) is an old and complex set of legal rules designed to prevent people from indefinitely tying up land and assets via successive contingent interests of title so that future generations cannot sell, mortgage or enjoy full use of the property. In 1972, Alberta reformed the worst excesses of RAP in our current Perpetuities Act, which seeks a reasonable balance between competing interests. But has the time come to repeal RAP altogether? Do modern legal mechanisms now exist which could handle the situation better and more simply?

On March 21, 2017, ALRI published Final Report 110, Abolition of Perpetuities Law recommending abolition of perpetuities law in Alberta. The modern availability of court variation of trusts, tax law and other interests is a sufficient legal mechanism to balance competing interests in this area. Other provinces have abolished perpetuities law without any apparent major problems.

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