Grandfather Clause Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Grandfather Clause.

Grandfather Clause (noun): A rule or law that allows individuals or entities to keep their existing privileges or status even when new regulations or laws are implemented that would otherwise affect them. This is often found in statutes, regulations, or ordinances and is designed so the new rules don't apply to everyone retroactively. For example, someone might not have to follow a new zoning regulation if their property was developed before the regulation was put into place.