2020 Georgia Code
Title 53 - Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates
Chapter 12 - Trusts
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 53-12-1. Short Title; Effect on Existing Trusts

Universal Citation: GA Code § 53-12-1 (2020)
  1. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "The Revised Georgia Trust Code of 2010."
  2. Except to the extent it would impair vested rights and except as otherwise provided by law, the provisions contained in this chapter shall apply to any trust regardless of the date such trust was created.

(Code 1981, §53-12-1, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 579, § 1/SB 131.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2010, "This chapter" was substituted for "This Act" at the beginning of subsection (a).

Law reviews.

- For article, "'Rarely Utilized': The Georgia Business Trust Code," see 14 Ga. St. B.J. 12 (2008). For annual survey on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 65 Mercer L. Rev. 295 (2013). For article, "Self-Settled Asset Protection Trusts in Georgia," see 23 Ga. St. B. J. 17 (Feb. 2018).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Retroactive application prohibited.

- Rights of the decedent's surviving spouse were already vested when the Revised Georgia Trust Code of 2010 (Revised Code), O.C.G.A. § 53-12-1 et seq., was enacted because under the terms of the amended trust agreement, the surviving spouse's rights to the trust assets took effect upon the decedent's death before the Revised Code took effect. Accordingly, any new obligation imposed by the Revised Code that would have impaired the surviving spouse's right to possession could not be applied retroactively. Rose v. Waldrip, 316 Ga. App. 812, 730 S.E.2d 529 (2012), cert. denied, No. S12C1888, 2012 Ga. LEXIS 981 (Ga. 2012).

Retroactive applicability of statute of limitations.

- Revised Georgia Trust Code's provisions apply to any trust irrespective of the date the trust was created, with two exceptions: to the extent it would impair vested rights, and except as otherwise provided by law. There is no vested right in a statute of limitation, and to the extent that Mayfield v. Heiman, 317 Ga. App. 322, (2012), suggests that O.C.G.A. § 53-12-307(a) does not apply retroactively, that suggestion is non-binding dicta. Smith v. SunTrust Bank, 325 Ga. App. 531, 754 S.E.2d 117 (2014).

Jury instruction on standard of care.

- In a breach of trust action, the trial court did not apply an incorrect standard of care in that a co-trustee could only be held liable if the co-trustee failed to act in good faith because if there was any error, the error was created by the co-trustee since the co-trustee consented to the instructions given and failed to request a charge that clearly set forth what the co-trustee asserted to be the proper standard for acts performed with absolute discretion. Reliance Trust Co. v. Candler, 294 Ga. 15, 751 S.E.2d 47 (2013).

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