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Estates and Trusts
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Schultz, Tammie D.

Future Estates/Interests

Future Interest Summary:

Future interests is about wealth and its accumulation/devolution when society was not just focused on land and the military right to protect it.
People had to find a way to divide property along the plane of time. Future Interest is about the legal devices and rules that allow one to create an interest in the future.
There are three ways to control wealth past the grave in NY

future interests
trusts
power of appointment

There are also coinciding rules that limit the creation of the future interest.

Future Interest is the present right to future possession. (Personal property is bequeathed; property/land is devised in wills)

Property is the bundle of rights. Classification is untangling the bundle of rights.

Threshold concept: Grantors retain interest…they do not create interest in themselves but in people other than themselves.

First rule of estate planning: know your client’s wish….don’t second guess

Future interests can be limited by an uncertain event

History:
William the Conqueror (Normandy) conquers England and creates dukedoms to the Saxon lords who would swear fealty to him. He brought in feudalism. The lords held the land in tenure rather than ownership. William kept a reversionary interest in the land. Lords held the land upon condition. These lords (dukes) did the same practice to earls and then to barons and to miscellaneous under lords. Thus there is stable realm of nobility/land holders.

Article 4 in NY practice recognizes ascendancy, descendancy, and collateral succession.

Development of the CL Theory of estates
Necessary steps:
1. ability to divide prope

ple to convey and assign lands/property.

Don’t get hung up on the magic words, look to the intent of the grantor

Difference between fee upon limitation (duration) v. condition (an event that will give rise or defeat an interest).
then decide if there is condition precedent or subsequent to vesting.

After 1290, future interests became strings of grantor retained interest

Between 1290 and the statue of Uses, commercialism was growing. This fact was important in outgrowing the dynastic system.

Three rules of Seisen

one seisen that is impartable
an outward symbol that has to be demonstrated

there can be no lapse in seisen, must always be vested