Re: Re: Government-by-numbers

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Hi Thomond Park,

Off the point, but I’d just like to correct you about “perpetuity”.
What you are referring to is called the “Rule against Perpetuities”, a rule which applies to gifts in wills to prevent them from being handed out at ridiculously far away times in the future – e.g. I give it to the first man to fly to the other side of the galaxy. Originally it was designed so a man who didn’t like his son giving his property to his grandson – even if that grandson wasn’t born. Thus one had to specify that the gift was being given to someone born within 21 years (the age of majority) of the death of someone – (i.e. the son) plus 9 months for the gestation. The idea being that a grandson is going to become 21 at a maximum time of 21 years and 9 months after the death of the son. Lawyers started to get clever with all that and decided that it need not be the son whose lifespan was measured against – but they did need someone famous, so that people would actually know who. In England it became “the death of the last currently living issue of the King”. If one didn’t use such rules, then the gift is void and goes back to the will, to follow rules on intestacy/remainder etc.

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