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Rules for Determining Whether or Not the Class Is Closed


RULES FOR DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THE CLASS IS CLOSED. Whether or not the class is closed when the devise takes effect, depends upon certain rules of construc tion, as follows: 1. When there is a general devise to children or other persons as a class, the class includes only such persons that are in being when the testator dies, that is, when the will takes effect.

2. When the devise is to take effect after the ter mination of a prior estate, only persons in being an swering the description at the expiration of the prior estate, are included.

3. When the gift is to a class generally, payable at a certain period, as to children when they arrive at a certain age, all children in being when the first child arrives at the designated age are let in; after born children are excluded.

4. When the devise is given to each of several persons who shall succeed each other in some certain position, in office, for instance, none except those in being at the death of the testator can take.

These rules of construction have been adopted by the courts to determine the intention of the parties who use certain words and phrases, by declaring in advance what meaning shall be given them.


children and persons