Vanderbilt Law Review


Ralph A. Newman

First Page



There is no doubt that we must have some fairly well-defined standard for determining when a restraint on alienation lasts too long. There is need for only one rule directed to the ultimate objective sought the establishment of a limitation upon the period during which alienability may be postponed. This limitation of the period of permissible duration of the state of inalienability must apply to all interests of any kind, present or future, vested or contingent, legal or equitable, absolute or in trust. The test of suspension should be the practical possibility, as well as the legal possibility, of alienation. Such a rule would have the merit of attacking directly the object to be attained, the establishment of a limitation on the period during which absolute ownership may be postponed, rather than indirectly by requiring the timely vesting of contingent interests, a phenomenon which in itself is of no significance.