2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 53 - WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
CHAPTER 12 - TRUSTS
ARTICLE 13 - TRUSTEES' DUTIES AND POWERS
PART 2 - TRUSTEES' POWERS
§ 53-12-261 - Powers of trustees

O.C.G.A. 53-12-261 (2010)
53-12-261. Powers of trustees


(a) As used in this Code section, the term "fiduciary" means the one or more personal representatives of the estate of a decedent or the one or more trustees of a testamentary or inter vivos trust, whichever in a particular case is appropriate.

(b) A trustee of an express trust, without court authorization, shall be authorized:

(1) To sell, exchange, grant options upon, partition, or otherwise dispose of any property or interest therein which the fiduciary may hold from time to time, at public or private sale or otherwise, with or without warranties or representations, upon such terms and conditions, including credit, and for such consideration as the fiduciary deems advisable and to transfer and convey the property or interest therein which is at the disposal of the fiduciary, in fee simple absolute or otherwise, free of all trust. The party dealing with the fiduciary shall not be under a duty to follow the proceeds or other consideration received;

(2) To invest and reinvest in any property which the fiduciary deems advisable, including, but not limited to, common or preferred stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, or other securities, in or outside the United States; insurance contracts on the life of any beneficiary or of any person in whom a beneficiary has an insurable interest or in annuity contracts for any beneficiary; any real or personal property; investment trusts, including the securities of or other interests in any open-end or closed-end management investment company or investment trust registered under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. Section 80a-1, et seq.; and participations in common trust funds;

(3) To the extent and upon such terms and conditions and for such periods of time as the fiduciary shall deem necessary or advisable, to continue or participate in the operation of any business or other enterprise, whatever its form or organization, including, but not limited to, the power:

(A) To effect incorporation, dissolution, or other change in the form of the organization of the business or enterprise;

(B) To dispose of any interest therein or acquire the interest of others therein;

(C) To contribute or invest additional capital thereto or to lend money thereto in any such case upon such terms and conditions as the fiduciary shall approve from time to time; and

(D) To determine whether the liabilities incurred in the conduct of the business are to be chargeable solely to the part of the trust set aside for use in the business or to the trust as a whole.

In all cases in which the fiduciary is required to file accounts in any court or in any other public office, it shall not be necessary to itemize receipts, disbursements, and distributions of property; but it shall be sufficient for the fiduciary to show in the account a single figure or consolidation of figures, and the fiduciary shall be permitted to account for money and property received from the business and any payments made to the business in lump sum without itemization;

(4) To form a corporation or other entity and to transfer, assign, and convey to the corporation or entity all or any part of the trust property in exchange for the stock, securities, or obligations of or other interests in any such corporation or entity and to continue to hold the stock, securities, obligations, and interests;

(5) To continue any farming operation and to do any and all things deemed advisable by the fiduciary in the management and maintenance of the farm and the production and marketing of crops and dairy, poultry, livestock, orchard, and forest products, including, but not limited to, the power:

(A) To operate the farm with hired labor, tenants, or sharecroppers;

(B) To lease or rent the farm for cash or for a share of the crops;

(C) To purchase or otherwise acquire farm machinery, equipment, and livestock;

(D) To construct, repair, and improve farm buildings of all kinds needed, in the fiduciary's judgment, for the operation of the farm;

(E) To make or obtain loans or advances at the prevailing rate or rates of interest for farm purposes, such as for production, harvesting, or marketing; or for the construction, repair, or improvement of farm buildings; or for the purchase of farm machinery, equipment, or livestock;

(F) To employ approved soil conservation practices, in order to conserve, improve, and maintain the fertility and productivity of the soil;

(G) To protect, manage, and improve the timber and forest on the farm and to sell the timber and forest products when it is to the best interest of the trust;

(H) To ditch, dam, and drain damp or wet fields and areas of the farm when and where needed;

(I) To engage in the production of livestock, poultry, or dairy products and to construct such fences and buildings and to plant pastures and crops as may be necessary to carry on such operations;

(J) To market the products of the farm; and

(K) In general, to employ good husbandry in the farming operation;

(6) To manage real property:

(A) To improve, manage, protect, and subdivide any real property;

(B) To dedicate, or withdraw from dedication, parks, streets, highways, or alleys;

(C) To terminate any subdivision or part thereof;

(D) To borrow money for the purposes authorized by this paragraph for the periods of time and upon the terms and conditions as to rates, maturities, and renewals as the fiduciary shall deem advisable and to mortgage or otherwise encumber the property or part thereof, whether in possession or reversion;

(E) To lease the property or part thereof, the lease to commence at the present or in the future, upon the terms and conditions, including options to renew or purchase, and for the period or periods of time as the fiduciary deems advisable even though the period or periods may extend beyond the duration of the trust;

(F) To make gravel, sand, oil, gas, and other mineral leases, contracts, licenses, conveyances, or grants of every nature and kind which are lawful in the jurisdiction in which the property lies;

(G) To manage and improve timber and forests on the property, to sell the timber and forest products, and to make grants, leases, and contracts with respect thereto;

(H) To modify, renew, or extend leases;

(I) To employ agents to rent and collect rents;

(J) To create easements and to release, convey, or assign any right, title, or interest with respect to any easement on the property or part thereof;

(K) To erect, repair, or renovate any building or other improvement on the property and to remove or demolish any building or other improvement in whole or in part; and

(L) To deal with the property and every part thereof in all other ways and for such other purposes or considerations as it would be lawful for any person owning the same to deal with the property either in the same or in different ways from those specified elsewhere in this paragraph;

(7) To lease personal property of the trust or part thereof, the lease to commence at the present or in the future, upon the terms and conditions, including options to renew or purchase, and for the period or periods of time as the fiduciary deems advisable even though the period or periods may extend beyond the duration of the trust;

(8) (A) To pay debts, taxes, assessments, compensation of the fiduciary, and other expenses incurred in the collection, care, administration, and protection of the trust; and

(B) To pay from the trust all charges that the fiduciary deems necessary or appropriate to comply with laws regulating environmental conditions and to remedy or ameliorate any such conditions which the fiduciary determines adversely affect the trust or otherwise are liabilities of the trust and to apportion all such charges among the several bequests and trusts and the interests of the beneficiaries in such manner as the fiduciary deems fair, prudent, and equitable under the circumstances;

(9) To receive additional property from any source and to administer the additional property as a portion of the appropriate trust under the management of the fiduciary, provided that the fiduciary shall not be required to receive the property without the fiduciary's consent;

(10) In dealing with one or more fiduciaries of the estate or any trust created by the decedent or the settlor or any spouse or child of the decedent or settlor and irrespective of whether the fiduciary is a personal representative or trustee of such other estate or trust:

(A) To sell real or personal property of the estate or trust to such fiduciary or to exchange such property with such fiduciary upon such terms and conditions as to sale price, terms of payment, and security as shall seem advisable to the fiduciary; and the fiduciary shall be under no duty to follow the proceeds of any such sale; and

(B) To borrow money from the estate or trust for such periods of time and upon such terms and conditions as to rates, maturities, renewals, and securities as the fiduciary shall deem advisable for the purpose of paying debts of the decedent or settlor, taxes, the costs of the administration of the estate or trust, and like charges against the estate or trust or any part thereof or of discharging any other liabilities of the estate or trust and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber such portion of the estate or trust as may be required to secure the loan and to renew existing loans;

(11) To borrow money for such periods of time and upon such terms and conditions as to rates, maturities, renewals, and security as the fiduciary shall deem advisable for the purpose of paying debts, taxes, or other charges against the trust or any part thereof and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber such portion of the trust as may be required to secure the loan and to renew existing loans either as maker or endorser;

(12) To make loans or advances for the benefit or the protection of the trust;

(13) To vote shares of stock or other ownership interests owned by the trust, in person or by proxy, with or without power of substitution;

(14) To hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the fiduciary relationship, so that title to the security may pass by delivery; but the fiduciary shall be liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held;

(15) To exercise all options, rights, and privileges to convert stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, or other property into other stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, or other property; to subscribe for other or additional stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, or other property; and to hold the stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, or other property so acquired as investments of the trust so long as the fiduciary shall deem advisable;

(16) To unite with other owners of property similar to any which may be held at any time in the trust, in carrying out any plan for the consolidation or merger, dissolution or liquidation, foreclosure, lease, or sale of the property or the incorporation or reincorporation, reorganization, or readjustment of the capital or financial structure of any corporation, company, or association the securities of which may form any portion of an estate or trust; to become and serve as a member of a shareholders' or bondholders' protective committee; to deposit securities in accordance with any plan agreed upon; to pay any assessments, expenses, or sums of money that may be required for the protection or furtherance of the interest of the beneficiaries of any trust with reference to any such plan; and to receive as investments of the trust any securities issued as a result of the execution of such plan;

(17) To adjust the interest rate from time to time on any obligation, whether secured or unsecured, constituting a part of the trust;

(18) To continue any obligation, whether secured or unsecured, upon and after maturity, with or without renewal or extension, upon such terms as the fiduciary shall deem advisable, without regard to the value of the security, if any, at the time of the continuance;

(19) To foreclose, as an incident to the collection of any bond, note, or other obligation, any deed to secure debt or any mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien securing the bond, note, or other obligation and to bid in the property at the foreclosure sale or to acquire the property by deed from the mortgagor or obligor without foreclosure; and to retain the property so bid in or taken over without foreclosure;

(20) To carry such insurance coverage as the fiduciary shall deem advisable;

(21) To collect, receive, and issue receipts for rents, issues, profits, and income of the trust;

(22) (A) To compromise, adjust, mediate, arbitrate, or otherwise deal with and settle claims involving the trust or the trustee;

(B) To compromise, adjust, mediate, arbitrate, bring or defend actions on, abandon, or otherwise deal with and settle claims in favor of or against the trust as the fiduciary shall deem advisable; the fiduciary's decision shall be conclusive between the fiduciary and the beneficiaries of the trust and the person against or for whom the claim is asserted, in the absence of fraud by such persons and, in the absence of fraud, bad faith, or gross negligence of the fiduciary, shall be conclusive between the fiduciary and the beneficiaries of the trust; and

(C) To compromise all debts, the collection of which are doubtful, belonging to the trust when such settlements will advance the interests of those represented;

(23) To employ and compensate, out of income or principal or both and in such proportion as the fiduciary shall deem advisable, persons deemed by the fiduciary needful to advise or assist in the administration of any trust, including, but not limited to, agents, accountants, brokers, attorneys at law, attorneys in fact, investment brokers, rental agents, realtors, appraisers, and tax specialists; and to do so without liability for any neglect, omission, misconduct, or default of the agent or representative, provided such person was selected and retained with due care on the part of the fiduciary;

(24) To acquire, receive, hold, and retain undivided the principal of several trusts created by a single trust instrument until division shall become necessary in order to make distributions; to hold, manage, invest, reinvest, and account for the several shares or parts of shares by appropriate entries in the fiduciary's books of account and to allocate to each share or part of share its proportionate part of all receipts and expenses; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not defer the vesting in possession of any share or part of share of the trust;

(25) To set up proper and reasonable reserves for taxes, assessments, insurance premiums, depreciation, obsolescence, amortization, depletion of mineral or timber properties, repairs, improvements, and general maintenance of buildings or other property out of rents, profits, or other income received;

(26) To value assets of the trust and to distribute them in cash or in kind, or partly in cash and partly in kind, in divided or undivided interests, as the fiduciary finds to be most practical and in the best interest of the distributees, the fiduciary being able to distribute types of assets differently among the distributees;

(27) To transfer money or other property distributable to a beneficiary who is under age 21, an adult for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed, or an adult who the fiduciary reasonably believes is incapacitated by distributing such money or property directly to the beneficiary or applying it for the beneficiary's benefit, or by:

(A) Distributing it to the beneficiary's conservator or, if the beneficiary does not have a conservator, the beneficiary's guardian;

(B) Distributing it to the beneficiary's custodian under "The Georgia Transfers to Minors Act" or similar state law and, for that purpose, creating a custodianship and designating a custodian;

(C) Distributing it to the beneficiary's custodial trustee under the Uniform Custodial Trust Act as enacted in another state and, for that purpose, creating a custodial trust; or

(D) Distributing it to any other person, whether or not appointed guardian or conservator by any court, who shall, in fact, have the care and custody of the person of the beneficiary;

The fiduciary shall not be under any duty to see to the application of the distributions so made if the fiduciary exercised due care in the selection of the person, including the beneficiary, to whom the payments were made; and the receipt of the person shall be full acquittance to the fiduciary;

(28) To make, modify, and execute contracts and other instruments, under seal or otherwise, as the fiduciary deems advisable; and

(29) To serve without making and filing inventory and appraisement, without filing any annual or other returns or reports to any court, and without giving bond; but, in addition to any rights the beneficiaries may have under subsection (b) of Code Section 53-12-243, the fiduciary shall furnish to the income beneficiaries, at least annually, a statement of receipts and disbursements.
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