Rights of first refusal do not violate the rule against perpetuities if they must be exercised during the holder's lifetime

New York retains a version of the traditional rule against perpetuities. Like most states, it has classified options to purchase and rights of first refusal as "executory interests" subject to the rule against perpetuities. They therefore must vest (if at all) within 21 years of their creation, or within 21 years of the death of a named person in the conveyance or during the lifetime of a named person. The latter was the case in Martin v. Seeley, 142 N.Y.S.3d 252 (App. Div. 2021) where the right of first refusal could be exercised only by the original holder of it.

The court also resolved a conflict between language suggesting the covenant ran with the land but that it would not apply to any successors in interest by finding that the "running with the land language" was of no legal effect.