Successive interests

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It has been recognized since mediaeval times that a landowner might wish to dispose of his title in such a way as to benefit successive owners. Very often this was for family reasons, but there could be a commercial motivation instead. In any case, by 1925 the common law recognized a number of legal estates that had limited duration, typically a particular person's life. The 1925 legislation abolished all legal forms of Freehold except the Fee simple absolute in possession, under which there was no scope to create legal successive interests. As a result, successive interests became entirely equitable. The Settled land act (1925) (SLA) established a statutory scheme for the management of the Trust necessary to establish successive interests. However, even in 1925 the meta of settlement trust envisaged by this legislation was somewhat archaic. Recently the Trusts of land and appointment of trustees act (1996) (TOLATA) has prohibited the creation of any new 1925-style settlement trusts, although existing trusts continue to be governed by the 1925 rules (see Settled land act settlement). All new attempts to create successive interests now create a TOLATA Trust of land.

Land and Property Law