2021 Georgia Code
Title 53 - Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
Article 1 - In General
§ 53-1-2. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 53-1-2 (2021)

As used in this chapter and Chapters 2 through 11 of this title, the term:

  1. "Administrator" means any person appointed and qualified to administer an intestate estate, including an intestate estate already partially administered by an administrator and from any cause unrepresented.
  2. "Administrator with the will annexed" means any person, other than an executor, appointed and qualified to administer a testate estate, including a testate estate already partially administered and from any cause unrepresented.
  3. "Beneficiary" means a person, including a trust, who is designated in a will to take an interest in real or personal property.
  4. "Codicil" means an amendment to or republication of a will.
  5. "County administrator" means any individual or individuals appointed by the probate court of the county and qualified to represent an estate that is unrepresented and unlikely to be represented.
  6. "Descendants" means the lineal descendants of an individual including those individuals who are treated as lineal descendants by virtue of adoption.
  7. "Executor" means any person nominated in a will who has qualified to administer a testate estate, including a person nominated as alternative or successor executor.
  8. "Guardian" means the guardian ad litem or representative described in Code Section 53-11-2 who represents one or more parties to a probate court proceeding who are not sui juris, are unborn, or are unknown.
  9. "Heirs" means those one or more individuals who survive the decedent and are determined under the rules of inheritance to take the property of the decedent that is not disposed of by will.
  10. "Nominated executor" means any person nominated in the will to serve as executor who has not yet qualified to serve as executor.
  11. "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company, business trust, unincorporated organization, limited liability company, or two or more persons having a joint or common interest, including an individual or a business entity acting as a personal representative or in any other fiduciary capacity.
  12. "Personal representative" means any administrator, administrator with the will annexed, county administrator, or executor.
  13. "Qualified" means that a personal representative has taken the oath, posted any required bond, and been issued letters of administration or letters testamentary, as provided in this title.
  14. "Sui juris" means an individual is age 18 or over and not suffering from any legal disability.
  15. "Temporary administrator" means any person granted temporary letters of administration upon an unrepresented estate.
  16. "Testamentary gift" means the interest in real or personal property which a beneficiary is designated to take in a will.
  17. "Will" means the legal declaration of an individual's testamentary intention regarding that individual's property or other matters. Will includes the will and all codicils to the will.

(Code 1981, §53-1-2, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 504, § 10; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1586, § 6.)

Cross references.

- Filing of wills by testators in office of judge of probate court, § 15-9-38.

Law reviews.

- For article surveying wills, trusts, and administration of estates, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 323 (1982). For article, "Transfer-on-Death Securities Registration: A New Title Form," see 21 Ga. L. Rev. 789 (1987). For annual survey of law of wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 457 (2004). For survey article on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 417 (2008). For annual survey on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 64 Mercer L. Rev. 325 (2012).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 9 Am. Jur. 2d, Wills, § 2.

10A Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Executors and Administrators, §§ 842, 896. 25 Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Wills, § 2.


- May instrument inter vivos operate also as a will, or part of will, 45 A.L.R. 843.

Notation on note or securities as a will or codicil, 62 A.L.R. 292.

Suppression of will, or agreement for its suppression, as contrary to public policy or to statute in that regard, 117 A.L.R. 1249.

Testamentary character of memorandum or other informal writing not testamentary on its face regarding ownership or disposition of specific personal property, 117 A.L.R. 1327.

What testamentary language passes United States bonds, 100 A.L.R.2d 1004.

Determination whether will is absolute or conditional, 1 A.L.R.3d 1048.

Electronic tape recording as will, 42 A.L.R.4th 176.

What constitutes contest or attempt to defeat will within provision thereof forfeiting share of contesting beneficiary, 3 A.L.R.5th 590.

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