Alberta Law Reform Institute Report Recommends Abolition of Perpetuities Law
"The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) recommends the abolition of perpetuities law in Alberta. Abolition has already occurred in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Canada-wide abolition has been recommended by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada."The report discusses the situation in Alberta as well as the practices adopted in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, England and New Zealand.
"The common law rule against perpetuities (RAP) originated in England in the 17th century as a way to prevent landowners from using future or contingent interests to tie up property for generations. RAP creates a perpetuity period for such interests based on the length of a life or lives in being in existence at the creation of the interest, plus 21 years. At common law, a contingent interest is void if there is any uncertainty at the outset whether it will vest within the perpetuity period. Over the centuries the courts expanded the common law RAP to apply to virtually all future or contingent interests in property, regardless of whether the interest is real, personal, legal or equitable."
"In 1972, Alberta enacted the Perpetuities Act (the Alberta Act) to reform the worst complexities and excesses of the common law RAP, based on recommendations from ALRI (...)"
"With court variation statutes governing trusts and non-trust interests available to address perpetuities issues, ALRI believes it is time to abolish the common law RAP and repeal the Alberta Act which reforms it. Other Canadian provinces have abolished perpetuities law without any apparent major problems resulting from that decision. ALRI’s consultation feedback, coming largely from the legal profession, judiciary and trusts and estates professionals, indicates majority support for abolition. While these results are not scientific, they do at least anecdotally suggest that many professionals working in the area are now comfortable with the idea of doing away with specialized perpetuities law."