Georgia Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Spring 1973), pp. 443-493


In past issues of the Review Professor Chaffin has illuminated many areas of Trust and Estates Law. In this Article he treats the inscrutable area of descendible future interests. Future interests which do not terminate at death obviously result in nonpossessory property passing through the estates of their holders. This Article first shows the unhappy consequences of such passage of property. It then points out not only that most draftsmen and testators are unaware of the undesirable consequences of creating descendible future interests, but also that many such interests exist as a result of Georgia's constructional preference for early vesting of remainders, rather than from intentional creation. Professor Chaffin determines that the preference for early vesting has no contemporary relevance. He then examines the series of confusing, contradictory, and often startling Georgia cases applying this preference, revealing methods by which an attorney can recognize the areas where unintentional creation of descendible interests is likely, and can avoid through careful draftsmanship the problems attending the creation of such interests.