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Wills, Trusts and Estates - Part 2

• The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that a family could not privately agree to the settlement of an estate, that originally had included a charitable trust, without the participation of a state officer. A decedent left a will which distributed the bulk of his $25 million estate to a charitable trust for the purpose feeding starving people and "giving Bibles to those who need to know Jesus Christ." The will was submitted to probate, but various relatives filed challenges. Eventually, family members agreed to a private settlement of the estate which left a much smaller portion of the estate to a charitable trust and more of the estate to the family. The state director of revenue objected to the settlement, citing a state law specifying that no court can modify or terminate a charitable trust without his participation. The family maintained that the revenue director's participation was ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1989