Vanderbilt Law Review


C. Dent Bostick

First Page



For several decades, there has been agitation for reform of the common-law Rule Against Perpetuities. For the most part, the reformers have urged that improvements in the Rule and the manner of its application be accomplished through legislative enactment.' Only a few jurisdictions have opted for reform by the judiciary. Thus far, there has been no legislative reform of the Rule in Tennessee; the appellate courts of the state continue to apply the Rule inits common-law form with all the confusing rubrics attached to it by centuries of development. The condition of Tennessee's law on the subject contrasts sharply with that of neighboring Kentucky where significant reform has been achieved. Considering the potential for serious mischief and even catastrophic consequences in property and estate transactions when the common-law rule is applied, it seems appropriate to take a fresh look at the Rule and its application in Tennessee. It is the purpose of this article to review the development of the Rule Against Perpetuities, the policies it undertakes to advance, the peculiar problems which have evolved in the centuries of its development, the Tennessee experience in applying the concept, and the possible legislative or judicial avenues to a more efficient application of the Rule and its underlying policies.