Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance


Published: 2014-04-10

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Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 1

Chapter: 257 Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance Gazette Number Version Date

Long title E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


To modify the law relating to the avoidance of future interests in property on grounds of remoteness and governing
accumulations of income from property.


[13 March 1970]


(Originally 26 of 1970)

(*Format changes—E.R. 2 of 2014)
__________________________________________________________________________
Note:
* The format of the Ordinance has been updated to the current legislative styles.

Part: 1 Preliminary and General 13 of 2013 01/12/2013


(Added 13 of 2013 s. 44)

Section: 1 Short title E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Cross-heading repealed 13 of 2013 s. 43


This Ordinance may be cited as the Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
2013 amending Ordinance (《2013年修訂條例》) means the Trust Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 (13 of

2013); (Added 13 of 2013 s. 45)
disposition (產權處置) includes the conferring of a power of appointment and any other disposition of an interest in

or right over property, and references to the interest disposed of shall be construed accordingly;
in being (在世的) means living or en ventre sa mere;
power of appointment (指定受益的權力) includes any discretionary power to transfer a beneficial interest in

property without the furnishing of valuable consideration;
will (遺囑) includes a codicil.
(2) For the purposes of this Ordinance a disposition contained in a will shall be deemed to be made at the death of

the testator.
(3) For the purposes of this Ordinance a person shall be treated as a member of a class if in his case all the

conditions identifying a member of the class are satisfied, and shall be treated as a potential member if in his
case some only of those conditions are satisfied but there is a possibility that the remainder will in time be
satisfied.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 15(2) & (3) U.K.]

Section: 3 Application E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1A) Part 2 applies in relation to an instrument taking effect on or after the commencement date* of the 2013
amending Ordinance, except that—
(a) Part 2 does not apply in relation to a will executed before that date; and
(b) Part 2 applies in relation to an instrument made in the exercise of a special power of appointment only if the

instrument creating the power takes effect on or after that date. (Added 13 of 2013 s. 46)
(1) Part 3 does not affect the operation of the rule of law rendering void for remoteness certain dispositions under

which property is limited to be applied for purposes other than the benefit of any person or class of persons in



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 2

cases where the property may be so applied after the end of the perpetuity period.
(2) Subject to subsection (2A), Part 3 applies (except as provided in subsection (2) of section 13 and section 18)

only in relation to instruments taking effect on and after 13 March 1970, and in the case of an instrument made
in the exercise of special power of appointment applies only where the instrument creating the power takes
effect on and after that date:
Provided that section 12 applies in all cases for construing the foregoing reference to a special power of
appointment.

(2A) Part 3 does not apply in relation to an instrument taking effect on or after the commencement date* of the 2013
amending Ordinance but Part 3 still applies in relation to an instrument so taking effect if—
(a) it is a will executed before that date; or
(b) it is an instrument made in the exercise of a special power of appointment, and the instrument creating the

power took effect before that date. (Added 13 of 2013 s. 46)
(3) This Ordinance applies in relation to a disposition made otherwise than by an instrument as if the disposition had

been contained in an instrument taking effect when the disposition was made.
(4) This Ordinance binds the Crown.

(Amended 13 of 2013 s. 46)
[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 15(4)-(7) U.K.]

___________________________________________________________________
Note:
* Commencement date: 1 December 2013.

Part: 2 Provisions Applicable to Instruments Taking Effect on or

after Commencement Date of 2013 Amending Ordinance
13 of 2013 01/12/2013



(Part 2 added 13 of 2013 s. 47)

Section: 3A Rule against perpetuities etc. have no effect 13 of 2013 01/12/2013


(1) The rule against perpetuities (or remoteness of vesting) and the rule against excessive accumulations have no
effect in relation to an instrument to which this Part applies (as provided in section 3(1A)).

(2) A trust (whether created by an instrument or otherwise) may continue in existence for an unlimited period unless
the terms of the trust provide to the contrary.


Section: 3B Restriction on accumulations for charitable trusts 13 of 2013 01/12/2013


(1) This section applies to an instrument to the extent to which its terms (other than a term of a court order) provide
for property to be held on trust for charitable purposes.

(2) If—
(a) the terms of the instrument impose or confer on the trustees a duty or power to accumulate income; and
(b) apart from this section the duty or power would last beyond the end of a period of 21 years beginning on the

first day when the income must or may be accumulated,
then subject to subsection (3), the duty or power ceases to have effect at the end of that 21-year period.
(3) Subsection (2) does not have effect in relation to the instrument if its terms provide for the duty or power to

accumulate income to cease to have effect—
(a) on the death of the settlor; or
(b) on the death of one of the settlors, as determined by name or by the order of their deaths.

(4) If a duty or power to accumulate income ceases to have effect under subsection (2), the income to which the
duty or power would have applied apart from this section must—
(a) go to the person who would have been entitled to it if there had been no duty or power to accumulate

income; or
(b) be applied for the purposes for which it would have had to be applied if there had been no such duty or

power to accumulate income.
(5) This section applies whether or not the duty or power to accumulate income extends to income produced by the

investment of income previously accumulated.



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 3


Section: 3C Rule as to duration of non-charitable purpose trust not

affected
13 of 2013 01/12/2013



This Part does not affect any rule of law that limits the duration of non-charitable purpose trusts.

Part: 3 Provisions Applicable to Instruments Taking Effect before

Commencement Date of 2013 Amending Ordinance
13 of 2013 01/12/2013



(Added 13 of 2013 s. 49)

Part:
Division:

3
1

Perpetuities 13 of 2013 01/12/2013



(Added 13 of 2013 s. 49)

Section: 4 Abolition of the double possibility rule E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Cross-heading repealed 13 of 2013 s. 48

The rule of law prohibiting the limitation, after a life interest to an unborn person, of an interest in land to the unborn
child or other issue of an unborn person is hereby abolished, but without prejudice to any other rule relating to
perpetuities.

[cf. 1925 c. 20 s. 161 U.K.]

Section: 5 Restrictions on the perpetuity rule E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


For removing doubts, it is hereby declared that the rule of law relating to perpetuities does not apply and shall be
deemed never to have applied-

(a) to any power to distrain on or to take possession of land or the income thereof given by way of indemnity
against a rent, whether charged upon or payable in respect of any part of that land or not; or

(b) to any grant, exception, or reservation of any right of entry on, or user of, the surface of land or of any
easements, rights, or privileges over or under land for the purpose of-
(i) executing repairs, alterations, or additions to any adjoining land, or the buildings and erections thereon;
(ii) constructing, laying down, altering, repairing, renewing, cleansing, and maintaining sewers,

watercourses, cesspools, gutters, drains, water-pipes, gas-pipes, electric wires or cables or other like
works.

[cf. 1925 c. 20 s. 162 U.K.]

Section: 6 Power to specify perpetuity period E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) Subject to subsection (2) of section 14 and subsection (2) of this section, where the instrument by which any
disposition is made so provides, the perpetuity period applicable to the disposition under the rule against
perpetuities, instead of being of any other duration, shall be of a duration equal to such number of years not
exceeding eighty as is specified in that behalf in the instrument.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not have effect where the disposition is made in exercise of a special power of appointment,
but where a period is specified under that subsection in the instrument creating such a power the period shall
apply in relation to any disposition under the power as it applies in relation to the power itself.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 1 U.K.]

Section: 7 Presumptions and evidence as to future parenthood E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) Where in any proceedings there arises on the rule against perpetuities a question which turns on the ability of a
person to have a child at some future time, then-



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 4

(a) subject to paragraph (b), it shall be presumed that a male can have a child at the age of fourteen years or
over, but not under that age, and that a female can have a child at the age of twelve years or over, but not
under that age or over the age of fifty-five years; but

(b) in the case of a living person evidence may be given to show that he or she will or will not be able to have a
child at the time in question.

(2) Where any such question is decided by treating a person as unable to have a child at a particular time, and he or
she does so, the Court of First Instance may make such order as it thinks fit for placing the persons interested in
the property comprised in the disposition, so far as may be just, in the position they would have held if the
question had not been so decided. (Amended 92 of 1975 s. 59; 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(3) Subject to subsection (2), where any such question is decided in relation to a disposition by treating a person as
able or unable to have a child at a particular time, then he or she shall be so treated for the purpose of any
question which may arise on the rule against perpetuities in relation to the same disposition in any subsequent
proceedings.

(4) In the foregoing provisions of this section references to having a child are references to be getting or giving birth
to a child, but those provisions (except paragraph (b) of subsection (1)) shall apply in relation to the possibility
that a person will at any time have a child by adoption, legitimation or other means as they apply to his or her
ability at that time to be get or give birth to a child.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 2 U.K.]

Section: 8 Uncertainty as to remoteness E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) Where, apart from the provisions of this section and sections 9 and 10, a disposition would be void on the
ground that the interest disposed of might not become vested until too remote a time, the disposition shall be
treated, until such time (if any) as it becomes established that the vesting must occur, if at all, after the end of the
perpetuity period, as if the disposition were not subject to the rule against perpetuities; and its becoming so
established shall not affect the validity of anything previously done in relation to the interest disposed of by way
of advancement, application of intermediate income or otherwise.

(2) Where, apart from the said provisions, a disposition consisting of the conferring of a general power of
appointment would be void on the ground that the power might not become exercisable until too remote a time,
the disposition shall be treated, until such time (if any) as it becomes established that the power will not be
exercisable within the perpetuity period, as if the disposition were not subject to the rule against perpetuities.

(3) Where, apart from the said provisions, a disposition consisting of the conferring of any power, option or other
right would be void on the ground that the right might be exercised at too remote a time, the disposition shall be
treated as regards any exercise of the right within the perpetuity period as if it were not subject to the rule against
perpetuities, and, subject to the said provisions, shall be treated as void for remoteness only if, and so far as, the
right is not fully exercised within that period.

(4) Where this section applies to a disposition and the duration of the perpetuity period is not determined by virtue
of section 6 or subsection (2) of section 14, it shall be determined as follows-
(a) where any persons falling within subsection (5) are individuals in being and ascertainable at the

commencement of the perpetuity period the duration of the period shall be determined by reference to their
lives and no others, but so that the lives of any description of persons falling within paragraph (b) or (c) of
that subsection shall be disregarded if the number of persons of that description is such as to render it
impracticable to ascertain the date of death of the survivor;

(b) where there are no lives under paragraph (a) the period shall be twenty-one years.
(5) The said persons are as follows-

(a) the person by whom the disposition was made;
(b) a person to whom or in whose favour the disposition was made, that is to say-

(i) in the case of a disposition to a class of persons, any member of potential member of the class;
(ii) in the case of an individual disposition to a person taking only on certain conditions being satisfied,

any person as to whom some of the conditions are satisfied and the remainder may in time be satisfied;
(iii) in the case of a special power of appointment exercisable in favour of members of a class, any member

or potential member of the class;
(iv) in the case of a special power of appointment exercisable in favour of one person only, that person or,

where the object of the power is ascertainable only on certain conditions being satisfied, any person as
to whom some of the conditions are satisfied and the remainder may in time be satisfied;



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 5

(v) in the case of any power, option or other right, the person on whom the right is conferred;
(c) a person having a child or grandchild within subparagraphs (i) to (iv) of paragraph (b), or any of whose

children or grandchildren, if subsequently born, would by virtue of his or her descent fall within those
subparagraphs;

(d) any person on the failure or determination of whose prior interest the disposition is limited to take effect.
[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 3 U.K.]


Section: 9 Reduction of age and exclusion of class members to avoid

remoteness
E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014



(1) Where a disposition is limited by reference to the attainment by any person or persons of a specified age
exceeding twenty-one years, and it is apparent at the time the disposition is made or becomes apparent at a
subsequent time-
(a) that the disposition would, apart from this section, be void for remoteness; but
(b) that it would not be so void if the specified age had been twenty-one years,
the disposition shall be treated for all purposes as if, instead of being limited by reference to the age in fact
specified, it had been limited by reference to the age nearest to that age which would, if specified instead, have
prevented the disposition from being so void.

(2) Where in the case of any disposition different ages exceeding twenty-one years are specified in relation to
different persons-
(a) the reference in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) to the specified age shall be construed as a reference to all

the specified ages; and
(b) that subsection shall operate to reduce each such age so far as is necessary to save the disposition from

being void for remoteness.
(3) Where the inclusion of any persons, being potential members of a class or unborn persons who at birth would

become members or potential members of the class, prevents the foregoing provisions of this section from
operating to save a disposition from being void for remoteness, those persons shall thenceforth be deemed for all
the purposes of the disposition to be excluded from the class, and the said provisions shall thereupon have effect
accordingly.

(4) Where, in the case of a disposition to which subsection (3) does not apply, it is apparent at the time the
disposition is made or becomes apparent at a subsequent time, that apart from this subsection, the inclusion of
any persons, being potential members of a class or unborn persons who at birth would become members or
potential members of the class, would cause the disposition to be treated as void for remoteness, those persons
shall, unless their exclusion would exhaust the class, thenceforth be deemed for all the purposes of the
disposition to be excluded from the class.

(5) Where this section has effect in relation to a disposition to which section 8 applies, the operation of this section
shall not affect the validity of anything previously done in relation to the interest disposed of by way of
advancement, application of intermediate income or otherwise.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 4 U.K.]

Section: 10 Condition relating to death of surviving spouse E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Where a disposition is limited by reference to the time of death of the survivor of a person in being at the
commencement of the perpetuity period and any spouse of that person, and that time has not arrived at the end of the
perpetuity period, the disposition shall be treated for all purposes, where to do so would save it from being void for
remoteness, as if it had instead been limited by reference to the time immediately before the end of that period.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 11 Saving and acceleration of expectant interests E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


A disposition shall not be treated as void for remoteness by reason only that the interest disposed of is ulterior to and
dependent upon an interest under a disposition which is so void, and the vesting of an interest shall not be prevented
from being accelerated on the failure of a prior interest by reason only that the failure arises because of remoteness.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 6 U.K.]




Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 6

Section: 12 Powers of appointment E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


For the purposes of the rule against perpetuities, a power of appointment shall be treated as a special power unless-
(a) in the instrument creating the power it is expressed to be exercisable by one person only; and
(b) it could, at all times during its currency when that person is of full age and capacity, be exercised by him so

as immediately to transfer to himself the whole of the interest governed by the power without the consent of
any other person or compliance with any other condition, not being a formal condition relating only to the
mode of exercise of the power:

Provided that for the purpose of determining whether a disposition made under a power of appointment exercisable by
will only is void for remoteness, the power shall be treated as a general power where it would have fallen to be so
treated if exercisable by deed.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 7 U.K.]

Section: 13 Administrative powers of trustees E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) The rule against perpetuities shall not operate to invalidate a power conferred on trustees or other persons to sell,
lease, exchange or otherwise dispose of any property for full consideration, or to do any other act in the
administration (as opposed to the distribution) of any property, and shall not prevent the payment to trustees or
other persons of reasonable remuneration for their services.

(2) Subsection (1) shall apply for the purpose of enabling a power to be exercised at any time on or after 13 March
1970 notwithstanding that the power is conferred by an instrument which took effect before that date.
(Amended 13 of 2013 s. 50)

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 8 U.K.]

Section: 14 Options relating to land E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


(1) The rule against perpetuities shall not apply to a disposition consisting of the conferring of an option to acquire
for valuable consideration an interest reversionary (whether directly or indirectly) on the term of a lease if-
(a) the option is exercisable only by the lessee or his successors in title; and
(b) it ceases to be exercisable at or before the expiration of one year following the determination of the lease.
This subsection shall apply in relation to an agreement for a lease as it applies in relation to a lease, and lessee
(承租人) shall be construed accordingly.

(2) In the case of a disposition consisting of the conferring of an option to acquire for valuable consideration any
interest in land, the perpetuity period under the rule against perpetuities shall be twenty-one years, and section 6
shall not apply.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 9 U.K.]

Section: 15 Avoidance of contractual and other rights in cases of

remoteness
E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014



Where a disposition inter vivos would fall to be treated as void for remoteness if the rights and duties thereunder were
capable of transmission to persons other than the original parties and had been so transmitted, it shall be treated as
void as between the person by whom it was made and the person to whom or in whose favour it was made or any
successor of his, and no remedy shall lie in contract or otherwise for giving effect to it or making restitution for its
lack of effect.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 10 U.K.]

Section: 16 Possibilities of resulting trust, conditions subsequent,

exceptions and reservations
E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014



(1) In the case of a possibility of a resulting trust on the determination of any determinable interest in property, the
rule against perpetuities shall apply in relation to the provision causing the interest to be determinable as it
would apply if that provision were expressed in the form of a condition subsequent giving rise, on breach
thereof, to a right of re-entry or an equivalent right in the case of property other than land, and where the



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 7

provision falls to be treated as void for remoteness the determinable interest shall become an absolute interest.
(2) Where a disposition is subject to any such provision, or to any such condition subsequent, or to any exception or

reservation, the disposition shall be treated for the purposes of this Part as including a separate disposition of any
rights arising by virtue of the provision, condition subsequent, exception or reservation. (Amended 13 of 2013 s.
51)

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 12 U.K.]

Part:
Division:

3
2

Accumulations 13 of 2013 01/12/2013



(Added 13 of 2013 s. 53)

Section: 17 General restrictions on accumulations of income E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Cross-heading repealed 13 of 2013 s. 52

(1) No person may by any instrument or otherwise settle or dispose of any property in such manner that the income

thereof shall, save as hereinafter mentioned, be wholly or partially accumulated for any longer period than one
of the following, namely-
(a) the life of the grantor or settlor; or
(b) a term of twenty-one years from the death of the grantor, settlor or testator; or
(c) the duration of the minority or respective minorities of any person in being at the death of the grantor,

settlor or testator; or
(d) the duration of the minority or respective minorities only of any person who under the limitations of the

instrument directing the accumulations would, for the time being, if of full age, be entitled to the income
directed to be accumulated; or

(e) a term of twenty-one years from the date of the making of the disposition; or
(f) the duration of the minority or respective minorities of any person or persons in being at the date of the

making of the disposition.
(2) In every case where any accumulation is directed otherwise than as aforesaid, the direction shall (save as

hereinafter mentioned) be void; and the income of the property directed to be accumulated shall, so long as the
same is directed to be accumulated contrary to this section, go to and be received by the person who would have
been entitled thereto if such accumulation had not been directed.

(3) The restrictions imposed by subsection (1) apply in relation to a power to accumulate income whether or not
there is a duty to exercise that power, and they apply whether or not the power to accumulate extends to income
produced by the investment of income previously accumulated.

(4) This section does not extend to any provision-
(a) for payment of the debts of any grantor, settlor, testator or other person;
(b) for raising portions for-

(i) any child or remoter issue of any grantor, settlor or testator; or
(ii) any child or remoter issue of a person taking any interest under any settlement or other disposition

directing the accumulations or to whom any interest is thereby limited,
and accordingly such provisions may be made as if no statutory restrictions on accumulation of income had been
imposed.

[cf. 1925 c. 20 s. 164 U.K.; 1964 c. 55 s. 13 U.K.]

Section: 18 Qualification of restrictions on accumulation E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Where accumulations of surplus income are made during a minority under any Ordinance or under the general law, the
period for which such accumulations are made is not (whether the trust was created or the accumulations were made
before, on or after 13 March 1970) to be taken into account in determining the periods for which accumulations are
permitted to be made by section 17, and accordingly an express trust for accumulation for any other permitted period
shall not be deemed to have been invalidated or become invalid, by reason of accumulations also having been made as
aforesaid during such minority.

(Amened 13 of 2013 s. 54)



Cap 257 - Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance 8

[cf. 1925 c. 20 s. 165 U.K.]

Section: 19 Restriction on accumulation for the purchase of land E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


No person may settle or dispose of any property in such manner that the income thereof shall be wholly or partially
accumulated for the purchase of land only, for any longer period than the duration of the minority or respective
minorities of any person or persons who, under the limitations of the instrument directing the accumulation, would for
the time being, if of full age, be entitled to the income so directed to be accumulated.

[cf. 1925 c. 20 s. 166 U.K.]

Section: 20 Right to stop accumulations E.R. 2 of 2014 10/04/2014


Section 7 shall apply to any question as to the right of beneficiaries to put an end to accumulations of income under
any disposition as it applies to questions arising on the rule against perpetuities.

[cf. 1964 c. 55 s. 14 U.K.]

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