|HB 1226 - Wills, trusts, and estates; amend to add certain short titles|
First Reader Summary
A BILL to amend Chapter 1 of Title 53 of the Official Code of
Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to
wills, trusts, and estates, as such chapter and title were
effective December 31, 1997, and Chapter 1 of Title 53 of the
Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general
provisions relative to wills, trusts, and estates, as such
chapter and title were amended by an Act approved April 2, 1996;
and for other purposes.
||Read 1st Time
||Read 2nd Time
||Read 3rd Time
||Amend/Sub Agreed To
||Sent to Governor
||Signed by Governor
HB 1226 HB 1226/AP
H. B. No. 1226 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE)
By: Representatives Martin of the 47th, Allen of the 117th,
Hecht of the 97th, Teper of the 61st, Tolbert of the 25th
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1- 1 To amend Article 4 of Chapter 9 of Title 15 of the Official
1- 2 Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to time, place, and
1- 3 procedure relating to probate courts, so as to change the
1- 4 provisions relating to applications to judges of probate
1- 5 courts for the granting of orders; to change the provisions
1- 6 relating to notice and service; to change the provisions
1- 7 relating to statements in lieu of stating time of hearing in
1- 8 certain types of proceedings; to change the provisions
1- 9 relating to contents of orders; to change provisions
1-10 relating to applicability; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 53 of
1-11 the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general
1-12 provisions relative to wills, trusts, and estates, as such
1-13 chapter and title were in effect on December 31, 1997, so as
1-14 to provide for a short title; to amend Title 53 of the
1-15 Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wills,
1-16 trusts, and estates, as such title was amended by an Act
1-17 approved April 2, 1996 (Ga. L. 1996, p. 504), and an Act
1-18 approved April 29, 1997 (Ga. L. 1997, p. 1352), so as to
1-19 provide for a short title; to revise certain definitions; to
1-20 change the provisions relating to renouncing succession; to
1-21 provide that an administrator with the will annexed is not
1-22 an executor; to change the provisions relating to the rules
1-23 of inheritance when a decedent dies without a will; to
1-24 change the provisions relating to vesting of title to
1-25 property; to change the conditions under which an heir may
1-26 petition for an order that no administration is necessary;
1-27 to provide for a final return and grant of a petition for
1-28 discharge before terminating an estate in the event of
1-29 escheat; to limit certain provisions relative to taxes and
1-30 liens for taxes against property set apart for year's
1-31 support to real property; to change a provision relating to
1-32 who may petition for year's support; to provide that no
1-33 additional guardian ad litem shall be appointed for a minor
1-34 child represented by a guardian petitioning for year's
1-35 support; to provide for exceptions; to limit to real
1-36 property a requirement for mailing a copy of a petition for
1-37 year's support to the tax commissioner or collector of a
2- 1 county in which certain property is located; to provide for
2- 2 overcoming a presumption of intent to revoke; to change the
2- 3 provisions relating to presumption of intent to revoke a
2- 4 will; to provide that a copy of a will may be offered for
2- 5 probate in certain circumstances; to provide when a copy of
2- 6 a will may be offered for probate if the original will
2- 7 cannot be found; to change a provision relating to what
2- 8 persons should receive notice to beneficiaries under a
2- 9 purported will; to repeal a requirement for notice to
2-10 certain beneficiaries and heirs before any acts of ancillary
2-11 administration; to provide for eligibility to serve as a
2-12 temporary administrator; to provide for service of a
2-13 petition for letters of administration with the will annexed
2-14 upon nominated executors who have failed to qualify in a
2-15 specified circumstance; to provide for service of such a
2-16 petition on beneficiaries; to provide for judicial
2-17 determination as to whether administration by the executor
2-18 of a deceased executor best serves the interests of the
2-19 first estate; to provide for consent by the guardian of an
2-20 heir who is not sui juris to unanimous selection of an
2-21 administrator; to provide that notice is not required for
2-22 the grant of temporary letters of administration; to provide
2-23 that a temporary administrator shall have the power to
2-24 collect and preserve estate assets in certain circumstances;
2-25 to repeal provisions for alternative consent to waive bond
2-26 by a prospective personal representative and to grant
2-27 specified powers to a personal representative when an heir
2-28 who is not sui juris has no guardian; to provide for
2-29 additional bond upon conversion of real property into
2-30 personalty; to provide for notice as the court shall direct
2-31 of compensation of the personal representative for the
2-32 delivery of property in kind and of determining expenses to
2-33 be allowed a personal representative; to provide that it
2-34 shall not be necessary to mail a copy of the inventory to
2-35 any beneficiary or heir who is not sui juris or for the
2-36 court to appoint a guardian for such person; to change the
2-37 provisions relating to waiver of the right to receive the
2-38 inventory; to change the provisions relating to dispensing
2-39 with making an inventory and sending copies to the heirs or
2-40 beneficiaries; to change the provisions relating to notices
2-41 to creditors and the publication thereof; to change the
2-42 provisions relating to compromise of claims; to provide for
2-43 assignment of claims and payment of proceeds; to change the
2-44 provisions relating to petition by a personal representative
2-45 for discharge and citations; to repeal a provision requiring
2-46 an order to deposit unclaimed funds before granting
3- 1 discharge; to change the provisions relating to mailing of
3- 2 returns to heirs and beneficiaries and relieving personal
3- 3 representatives of the duty to file returns and send copies
3- 4 to heirs or beneficiaries; to change the time for filing
3- 5 objections to an intermediate report and service
3- 6 requirements; to provide for continuing a hearing until a
3- 7 date certain when objections are filed to the personal
3- 8 representative's report, actions, or accounting; to change
3- 9 the provisions relating to authorized investments and the
3-10 standard of care of a personal representatiave; to change
3-11 the provisions relating to passage of title to property of
3-12 an estate to heirs or beneficiaries; to provide that the
3-13 report of a conservator of the estate of a missing
3-14 individual shall include a recommendation for distribution;
3-15 to provide for certain dispositions by the conservator upon
3-16 the order of an appropriate court; to change the provisions
3-17 relating to proceedings in probate courts; to redefine the
3-18 term "guardian"; to provide for service on individuals who
3-19 are not sui juris; to change the provisions relating to
3-20 waiver or acknowledgment of service or notice and consent to
3-21 granting of relief or entry of an order; to change the
3-22 provisions relating to issuance of citation upon filing of a
3-23 petition; to change the provisions relating to contents of a
3-24 citation; to provide for related matters; to repeal
3-25 conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
3-26 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
3-27 SECTION 1.
3-28 Article 4 of Chapter 9 of Title 15 of the Official Code of
3-29 Georgia Annotated, relating to time, place, and procedure
3-30 relating to probate courts, is amended by striking Code
3-31 Section 15-9-86, relating to application to the judge of the
3-32 probate court for the granting of any order, petition, and
3-33 notice and service thereof, and inserting in its place the
3-36 Every application made to the judge of the probate court
3-37 for the granting of any order shall be by petition in
3-38 writing, stating the ground of such application and the
3-39 order sought.
If Unless otherwise provided by law, if
3-40 notice of the application, other than by published
3-41 citation, is necessary under the law or in the judgment of
3-42 the judge of the probate court, the judge shall cause a
3-43 copy of the application, together with a notice of the
4- 1 time of hearing, to be served by the sheriff or some
4- 2 lawful officer upon the each party or parties to be
4- 3 notified, who resides in this state and to be mailed by
4- 4 registered or certified mail to each party who resides
4- 5 outside this state at a known address, at least ten days,
4- 6 plus three days if mailed, before the hearing ; an . An
4- 7 entry of such service shall be made on the original. In
4- 8 extraordinary cases, where it is necessary to act before
4- 9 such notice can be given, the judge of the probate court
4-10 shall so direct the proceedings as to make no final order
4-11 until notice has been given."
4-12 SECTION 2.
4-13 Said article is further amended by striking Code Section
4-14 15-9-86.1, relating to statements in lieu of stating time of
4-15 hearing in certain types of proceedings, and inserting in
4-16 its place the following:
4-18 (a) In any of the proceedings specified in this Code
4-19 section with respect to which no citation is required to
4-20 be published, notice of an application to the judge of the
4-21 probate court for the granting of an order may, instead of
4-22 stating the time of the hearing as provided in Code
4-23 Section 15-9-86 and other specific laws, state that the
4-24 party served must file with the court his or her response
4-25 to the petition within ten days after the personal service
4-26 of the notice upon him or her, or 13 days after mailing if
4-27 served by mail, and that if no responses are filed the
4-28 petition will be granted without a hearing.
4-29 (b) If the specific laws governing a particular proceeding
4-30 subject to this Code section require that a citation be
4-31 published, or published and mailed, and also be served
4-32 personally upon one or more parties, such citation may,
4-33 instead of stating the time of hearing, state that :
4-34 (1) Any any party who is not ordered to be served
4-35 personally or by mail must file with the court his or
4-36 her response to the petition on or prior to a date
4-37 certain, which shall be a date for which a hearing could
4-38 be set according to the laws governing the particular
4-39 proceeding ; and.
4-40 (2) Any party who is served personally must file with
4-41 the court his response by the later of the date certain
5- 1 established as provided above or the tenth day after the
5- 2 service of the notice upon him.
5- 3 (c) The citation or the caption of the citation shall
5- 4 identify all parties upon whom personal service has been
5- 5 ordered whose names are known.
5- 6 (c) Failure of a party served as provided in subsection
5- 7 (a) or (b) of this Code section to file with the court his
5- 8 or her response to a petition within the time required for
5- 9 his or her response shall constitute a waiver of the right
5-10 of such party to object to the petition and a waiver of
5-11 any right of such party to receive notice of any further
5-12 proceedings with respect to such petition.
5-13 (d) If no party serves a response to the petition, the
5-14 judge of the probate court may grant the petition without
5-15 a hearing. If a response is filed, the judge of the
5-16 probate court shall set the matter for hearing and shall
5-17 by regular first-class mail send a notice of the time of
5-18 hearing to the petitioner and all parties who have served
5-19 responses at the addresses given by them in their
5-21 (e) The proceedings to which this Code section shall apply
5-23 (1) Proceedings for sale, lease, exchange, or
5-24 encumbrance of a ward's property, as provided in Code
5-25 Section 29-2-4 or 29-2-7;
5-26 (2) Proceedings for citation of a guardian for failure
5-27 to make returns, as provided in Code Section 29-2-44;
5-28 (3) Proceedings involving waste or mismanagement by a
5-29 guardian, as provided in Code Section 29-2-45;
5-30 (4) Proceedings for discharge of a surety on a
5-31 guardian's bond, as provided in Code Section 29-2-52;
5-32 (5) Proceedings for resignation of trust by a guardian,
5-33 as provided in Code Section 29-2-72;
5-34 (6) Proceedings for resignation by a guardian whose ward
5-35 has removed to a different county, as provided in Code
5-36 Section 29-2-73;
5-37 (7) Proceedings for settlement of accounts of a
5-38 guardian, as provided in Code Section 29-2-76;
5-39 (8) Proceedings for appointment of a guardian of a
5-40 minor, as provided in Code Section 29-4-10;
6- 1 (9) Proceedings for requiring a guardian to give
6- 2 additional bond, as provided in Code Section 29-4-14;
6- 3 (10) Proceedings for appointment of a guardian for a
6- 4 beneficiary of the United States Department of Veterans
6- 5 Affairs, as provided in Code Section 29-6-5;
6- 6 (11) Proceedings for probate in solemn form, as provided
6- 7 in Code Section 53-3-14;
6- 8 (12) Proceedings for probate of a nuncupative will, as
6- 9 provided in Code Section 53-3-17;
6-10 (13)(11) Proceedings for determination of heirs at law,
6-11 as provided in Code Sections 53-4-30, et seq. of the
6-12 'Pre-1998 Probate Code'; and
6-13 (14)(12) Proceedings for setting aside year's support,
6-14 as provided in Code Section 53-5-8 ; of the 'Pre-1998
6-15 Probate Code.'
6-16 (15) Proceedings for conveyance or encumbrance of year's
6-17 support property, as provided in Code Section 53-5-21;
6-18 (16) Proceedings for granting of administration with the
6-19 will annexed, as provided in Code Section 53-6-29;
6-20 (17) Proceedings to require additional security of a
6-21 county guardian, as provided in Code Section 53-6-99;
6-22 (18) Proceedings for removal, settlement, or accounting
6-23 upon the part of an administrator, executor, or guardian
6-24 who has removed from the state, as provided in Code
6-25 Section 53-6-126;
6-26 (19) Proceedings to require an administrator to give
6-27 bond or security, as provided in Code Section 53-7-37;
6-28 (20) Proceedings involving waste or mismanagement by an
6-29 executor or administrator, as provided in Code Section
6-31 (21) Proceedings for resignation of trust by an
6-32 administrator or executor, as provided in Code Section
6-34 (22) Proceedings for accounting and settlement upon the
6-35 part of a removed administrator or executor, as provided
6-36 in Code Section 53-7-167;
6-37 (23) Proceedings for citation of an administrator or
6-38 executor for failure to make returns, as provided in
6-39 Code Section 53-7-183;
7- 1 (24) Proceedings for intermediate final accounting, as
7- 2 provided in Code Section 53-7-184; and
7- 3 (25) Proceedings for private sale of estate property, as
7- 4 provided in Code Section 53-8-34."
7- 5 SECTION 3.
7- 6 Said article is further amended by striking Code Section
7- 7 15-9-87, relating to contents of orders, and inserting in
7- 8 its place the following:
7- 9 "15-9-87.
7-10 The order of the judge of the probate court or other
7-11 documents in the record shall always recite the names of
7-12 the persons so notified and shall reflect compliance with
7-13 the provisions required."
7-14 SECTION 4.
7-15 Chapter 1 of Title 53 of the Official Code of Georgia
7-16 Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to wills,
7-17 trusts, and estates, as such chapter and title were in
7-18 effect on December 31, 1997, is amended by striking in its
7-19 entirety Code Section 53-1-1, relating to the abolition of
7-20 dower, and inserting in its place the following:
7-22 (a) This chapter and Chapters 2 through 11 of this title,
7-23 as such chapters existed on December 31, 1997, and as such
7-24 chapters shall be expressly amended in the future, shall
7-25 be known and may be cited as the 'Pre-1998 Probate Code.'
7-26 (b) The right of dower is abolished."
7-27 SECTION 5.
7-28 Title 53 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
7-29 to wills, trusts, and estates, as such title was amended by
7-30 an Act approved April 2, 1996 (Ga. L. 1996, p. 504), and an
7-31 Act approved April 29, 1997 (Ga. L. 1997, p. 1352), and as
7-32 such title, as amended by such Acts, may be amended in the
7-33 future, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section
7-34 53-1-1, relating to the effective date, and inserting in
7-35 lieu thereof the following:
7-37 (a) This chapter and Chapters 2 through 11 of this title,
7-38 as such chapters were amended by an Act approved April 2,
7-39 1996 (Ga. L. 1996, p. 504), and an Act approved April 29,
8- 1 1997 (Ga. L. 1997, p. 1352), and as such chapters may be
8- 2 amended in the future, shall be known and may be cited as
8- 3 the 'Revised Probate Code of 1998.'
8- 4 (b) Except as otherwise provided by law, the provisions
8- 5 contained in this chapter and Chapters 2 through 11 of
8- 6 this title shall be effective on January 1, 1998;
8- 7 provided, however, that no vested rights of title, year's
8- 8 support, succession, or inheritance shall be impaired."
8- 9 SECTION 6.
8-10 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
8-11 53-1-2 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
8-12 definitions, and inserting in its place the following:
8-14 As used in this chapter and Chapters 2 through 11 of this
8-15 title, the term:
8-16 (1) 'Administrator' means any person appointed and
8-17 qualified to administer an intestate estate, including
8-18 an intestate estate already partially administered by an
8-19 administrator and from any cause unrepresented.
8-20 (2) 'Administrator with the will annexed' means any
8-21 person, other than an executor, appointed and qualified
8-22 to administer a testate estate, including a testate
8-23 estate already partially administered and from any cause
8-25 (3) 'Beneficiary' means a person, including a trust, who
8-26 is designated in a will to take an interest in real or
8-27 personal property.
8-28 (4) 'Codicil' means an amendment to or republication of
8-29 a will.
8-30 (5) 'County administrator' means any individual or
8-31 individuals appointed by the probate court of the county
8-32 and qualified to represent an estate that is
8-33 unrepresented and unlikely to be represented.
8-34 (6) 'Descendants' means the lineal descendants of an
8-35 individual including those individuals who are treated
8-36 as lineal descendants by virtue of adoption.
8-37 (7) 'Executor' means any person nominated in a will who
8-38 has qualified to administer a testate estate, including
8-39 a person nominated as alternative or successor executor.
9- 1 (8) 'Guardian' means the guardian ad litem or
9- 2 representative described in Code Section 53-11-2 who
9- 3 represents one or more parties to a probate court
9- 4 proceeding who are not sui juris, are unborn, or are
9- 5 unknown.
9- 6 (9) 'Heirs' means those one or more individuals who
9- 7 survive the decedent and are determined under the rules
9- 8 of inheritance to take the property of the decedent that
9- 9 is not disposed of by will.
9-10 (10) 'Nominated executor' means any person nominated in
9-11 the will to serve as executor who has not yet qualified
9-12 to serve as executor.
9-13 (11) 'Person' means an individual, corporation,
9-14 partnership, association, joint-stock company, business
9-15 trust, unincorporated organization, limited liability
9-16 company, or two or more persons having a joint or common
9-17 interest, including an individual or a business entity
9-18 acting as a personal representative or in any other
9-19 fiduciary capacity.
9-20 (12) 'Personal representative' means any administrator,
9-21 administrator with the will annexed, county
9-22 administrator, or executor.
9-23 (13) 'Qualified' means that a personal representative
9-24 has taken the oath, posted any required bond, and been
9-25 issued letters of administration or letters
9-26 testamentary, and posted any required bond, as provided
9-27 in this title.
9-28 (14) 'Sui juris' means an individual is age 18 or over
9-29 and not suffering from any legal disability.
9-30 (15) 'Temporary administrator' means any person granted
9-31 temporary letters of administration upon an
9-32 unrepresented estate.
9-33 (16) 'Testamentary gift' means the interest in real or
9-34 personal property which a beneficiary is designated to
9-35 take in a will.
9-36 (17) 'Will' means the legal declaration of an
9-37 individual's testamentary intention regarding that
9-38 individual's property or other matters. Will includes
9-39 the will and all codicils to the will."
10- 1 SECTION 7.
10- 2 Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of
10- 3 subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20 of the "Revised
10- 4 Probate Code of 1998," relating to renouncing succession,
10- 5 and inserting in its place the following:
10- 6 "(f)(1) Except as otherwise provided by the will or
10- 7 other governing instrument, a renunciation shall cause
10- 8 the renounced property to pass as if the person
10- 9 renouncing had predeceased the decedent or, in the case
10-10 of property passing upon exercise of a power of
10-11 appointment, as if the person renouncing had predeceased
10-12 the holder of the power; provided, however, that, solely
10-13 for the purposes of the last clause of paragraph (5) and
10-14 the last clause of paragraph (7) of subsection (b) of
10-15 Code Section 53-2-1, any individual renouncing who is
10-16 the only sibling or the only aunt or uncle surviving the
10-17 decedent shall not be deemed to have predeceased the
10-19 SECTION 8.
10-20 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
10-21 Code Section 53-2-1 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
10-22 relating to rules of inheritance when a decedent dies
10-23 without a will, and inserting in its place the following:
10-24 "(b) When a decedent died without a will, the following
10-25 rules shall determine such decedent's heirs:
10-26 (1) Upon the death of an individual who is survived by a
10-27 spouse but not by any child or other descendant, the
10-28 spouse is the sole heir. If the decedent is also
10-29 survived by any child or other descendant, the spouse
10-30 shall share equally with the children, with the
10-31 descendants of any deceased child taking that child's
10-32 share, per stirpes; provided, however, that the spouse's
10-33 portion shall not be less than a one-third share;
10-34 (2) If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the
10-35 heirs shall be those relatives, as provided in this Code
10-36 section, who are in the nearest degree to the decedent
10-37 in which there is any survivor;
10-38 (3) Children of the decedent are in the first degree,
10-39 and those who survive the decedent shall share the
10-40 estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased
10-41 child taking, per stirpes, the share that child would
10-42 have taken if in life;
11- 1 (4) Parents of the decedent are in the second degree,
11- 2 and those who survive the decedent shall share the
11- 3 estate equally;
11- 4 (5) Siblings of the decedent are in the third degree,
11- 5 and those who survive the decedent shall share the
11- 6 estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased
11- 7 sibling taking, per stirpes, the share that sibling
11- 8 would have taken if in life; provided, however, that,
11- 9 subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection
11-10 (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no sibling survives the
11-11 decedent, the nieces and nephews who survive the
11-12 decedent shall take the estate in equal shares, with the
11-13 descendants of any deceased niece or nephew taking, per
11-14 stirpes, the share that niece or nephew would have taken
11-15 if in life;
11-16 (6) Grandparents of the decedent are in the fourth
11-17 degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share
11-18 the estate equally;
11-19 (7) Uncles and aunts of the decedent are in the fifth
11-20 degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share
11-21 the estate equally, with the children of any deceased
11-22 uncle or aunt taking, per stirpes, the share that uncle
11-23 or aunt would have taken if in life; provided, however,
11-24 that, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of
11-25 subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no uncle or
11-26 aunt of the decedent survives the decedent, the first
11-27 cousins who survive the decedent shall share the estate
11-28 equally; and
11-29 (8) The more remote degrees of kinship shall be
11-30 determined by counting the number of steps in the chain
11-31 from the relative to the closest common ancestor of the
11-32 relative and decedent and the number of steps in the
11-33 chain from the common ancestor to the decedent. The sum
11-34 of the steps in the two chains shall be the degree of
11-35 kinship, and the surviving relatives with the lowest sum
11-36 shall be in the nearest degree and shall share the
11-37 estate equally."
11-38 SECTION 9.
11-39 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
11-40 Code Section 53-2-7 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
11-41 relating to vesting of title to property and the right to
11-42 possession, and inserting in its place the following:
12- 1 "(b) If no administrator is appointed within five three
12- 2 years after the death of an intestate, the title to all
12- 3 property owned by the decedent, both real and personal,
12- 4 shall vest in the decedent's heirs and shall be deemed to
12- 5 have become vested in them as of the date of the
12- 6 decedent's death."
12- 7 SECTION 10.
12- 8 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
12- 9 Code Section 53-2-40 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
12-10 relating to petitions, and inserting in its place the
12-12 "(a) When an individual has died intestate and there has
12-13 been no administration personal representative appointed
12-14 in this state, any heir of the decedent may file a
12-15 petition praying for an order that no administration is
12-16 necessary. The petition shall be filed in the probate
12-17 court of the county of the domicile of the decedent, if
12-18 the decedent was domiciled in this state, or in the county
12-19 in which real property is located, if the decedent was not
12-20 domiciled in this state."
12-21 SECTION 11.
12-22 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (e) of
12-23 Code Section 53-2-51 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
12-24 relating to procedure for escheat, and inserting in its
12-25 place the following:
12-26 "(e) When property is paid over or distributed to a county
12-27 board of education, no further proceedings to terminate
12-28 the administration of the estate shall be necessary
12-29 terminated following a final return and the granting of a
12-30 petition for discharge."
12-31 SECTION 12.
12-32 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
12-33 53-3-4 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
12-34 taxes and tax liens, and inserting in its place the
12-37 In solvent and insolvent estates, all taxes and liens for
12-38 taxes accrued for years prior to the year of the
12-39 decedent's death against the real property set apart and
12-40 against any equity of redemption applicable to the real
12-41 property set apart shall be divested as if the entire
13- 1 title were included in the year's support. Additionally,
13- 2 as elected in the petition, property taxes accrued in the
13- 3 year of the decedent's death or in the year in which the
13- 4 petition for year's support is filed or, if the petition
13- 5 is filed in the year of the decedent's death, in the year
13- 6 following the filing of the petition, shall be divested if
13- 7 the real property is set apart for year's support."
13- 8 SECTION 13.
13- 9 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
13-10 Code Section 53-3-5 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
13-11 relating to the filing of a petition for year's support, and
13-12 inserting in its place the following:
13-13 "(a) Upon the death of any individual leaving an estate
13-14 solvent or insolvent, the surviving spouse or a minor
13-15 child or a guardian or other person acting in behalf of
13-16 the surviving spouse or in behalf of a minor child may
13-17 file a petition for year's support in the probate court
13-18 having jurisdiction over the decedent's estate. If the
13-19 petition is brought by a guardian acting on behalf of a
13-20 minor child, no additional guardian ad litem shall be
13-21 appointed for such minor child unless ordered by the
13-23 SECTION 14.
13-24 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of
13-25 Code Section 53-3-6 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
13-26 relating to issuance of citation and publication of notice
13-27 and mailing of petitions to tax commissioners, and inserting
13-28 in its place the following:
13-29 "(d) The probate court shall mail a copy of the petition
13-30 within five days of its filing to the tax commissioner or
13-31 tax collector of any county in this state in which real
13-32 property proposed to be set apart is located."
13-33 SECTION 15.
13-34 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
13-35 53-4-44 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
13-36 destruction or obliteration of a will or material portion
13-37 thereof, and inserting in its place the following:
13-39 An express revocation may be effected by any destruction
13-40 or obliteration of the will done by the testator with an
13-41 intent to revoke or by another at the testator's
14- 1 direction. The intent to revoke shall be presumed from
14- 2 the obliteration or cancellation of a material portion of
14- 3 the will, but such presumption may be overcome by a
14- 4 preponderance of the evidence."
14- 5 SECTION 16.
14- 6 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
14- 7 53-4-46 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
14- 8 presumption of intent, and inserting in its place the
14- 9 following:
14-11 (a) A presumption of intent to revoke arises if the
14-12 original of a testator's will cannot be found to probate ;
14-13 which presumption may be overcome by a preponderance of
14-14 the evidence and provided further a copy of said will may
14-15 be probated if the evidence shows that a lost will was not
14-16 intended to be revoked.
14-17 (b) A copy of a will may be offered for probate in
14-18 accordance with Chapter 5 of this title in lieu of the
14-19 original will if the original cannot be found to probate,
14-20 provided that the copy is proved by a preponderance of the
14-21 evidence to be a true copy of the original will and that
14-22 the presumption of intent to revoke set forth in
14-23 subsection (a) of this Code section is rebutted by a
14-24 preponderance of the evidence."
14-25 SECTION 17.
14-26 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
14-27 Code Section 53-5-22 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
14-28 relating to notice for probate in solemn form, and inserting
14-29 in its place the following:
14-30 "(b) For purposes of giving notice to beneficiaries under
14-31 a purported will for which probate proceedings are pending
14-32 in this state, notice shall be given to those of the
14-33 following persons named or designated in the purported
14-34 will whose identity and whereabouts may be determined by
14-35 the petitioner in the exercise of reasonable diligence:
14-36 (1) Each beneficiary who is designated in the will to
14-37 receive a present interest or power, other than a mere
14-38 trust beneficiary, and who, in the case of an
14-39 individual, is sui juris Each beneficiary:
14-40 (A) Who has a present interest, including but not
14-41 limited to a vested remainder interest but not
15- 1 including trust beneficiaries where there is a
15- 2 trustee; and
15- 3 (B) Whose identity and whereabouts are known or may be
15- 4 determined by reasonable diligence;
15- 5 (2) The duly acting guardian or, if none, the person
15- 6 having custody of each individual beneficiary with a
15- 7 present interest or power, other than a mere trust
15- 8 beneficiary, who is not sui juris; and
15- 9 (3) Each trustee.
15-10 Notice shall not be required in the case of a person whose
15-11 interest, even though vested, cannot be possessed until
15-12 the passage of time or the happening of a contingency.
15-13 The probate court may, on motion, modify the notice
15-14 required in the case of numerous beneficiaries of the same
15-15 or similar class where the value of each testamentary gift
15-16 is, or appears to be, nominal. Upon motion, the court may
15-17 determine whether the interest of any beneficiary required
15-18 to be notified under this subsection is adequately
15-19 represented, including any contingent interest of a
15-20 beneficiary, and if such representation is found to be
15-21 inadequate, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to
15-22 represent each beneficiary or order such other notice as
15-23 may be appropriate to a beneficiary of a contingent
15-24 interest. If a trustee named in the will indicates a
15-25 refusal to represent the beneficiaries of the testamentary
15-26 trust, the court may order that notice be given directly
15-27 to the beneficiaries of the trust."
15-28 SECTION 18.
15-29 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
15-30 53-5-40 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
15-31 notice given by an ancillary personal representative, and
15-32 inserting in its place the following:
15-34 Upon qualification, the ancillary personal representative
15-35 shall give notice to all creditors of the nondomiciliary
15-36 decedent who are domiciled in this state in the same
15-37 manner as is required for decedents who die domiciled in
15-38 this state. Following qualification and prior to
15-39 performing any acts of ancillary administration in this
15-40 state, the ancillary personal representative shall give
15-41 notice, in accordance with Chapter 11 of this title, of
15-42 the ancillary probate of the decedent's will or the
16- 1 ancillary administration of the decedent's estate to each
16- 2 beneficiary under the decedent's will who is domiciled in
16- 3 this state and to any heir of the decedent who is
16- 4 domiciled in this state."
16- 5 SECTION 19.
16- 6 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
16- 7 53-6-1 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
16- 8 eligibility for service as a personal representative of a
16- 9 decedent, and inserting in its place the following:
16-11 Any individual who is sui juris, regardless of citizenship
16-12 or residency, is eligible to serve as a personal
16-13 representative or temporary administrator of a decedent
16-14 who dies domiciled in this state, subject to the
16-15 requirements for qualification set forth in this chapter.
16-16 Any other person is eligible to serve as a personal
16-17 representative or temporary administrator of a decedent
16-18 who dies domiciled in this state, subject to the
16-19 requirements set forth in this chapter, provided the
16-20 person is otherwise qualified to act as a fiduciary in
16-21 this state."
16-22 SECTION 20.
16-23 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
16-24 Code Section 53-6-11 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
16-25 relating to qualifications of executors, and inserting in
16-26 its place the following:
16-27 "(a) If the nominated executor does not qualify within 90
16-28 days after the order admitting the will to probate is
16-29 entered or is proved to be dead or incapacitated or
16-30 renounces the right to serve, the next nominated executor
16-31 in the order set out in the will may qualify. If the next
16-32 nominated executor fails to qualify within 90 days after
16-33 the expiration of the time period by which the first
16-34 nominated executor must qualify or is proved to be dead or
16-35 incapacitated or renounces the right to serve, any
16-36 nominated executor may qualify. If no nominated executor
16-37 appears to qualify within a reasonable time or if there is
16-38 no other executor named in the will, the estate shall be
16-39 deemed to be unrepresented."
17- 1 SECTION 21.
17- 2 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
17- 3 53-6-15 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
17- 4 petitions for letters of administration with the will
17- 5 annexed, and inserting in its place the following:
17- 6 "53-6-15.
17- 7 (a) Every petition for letters of administration with the
17- 8 will annexed shall be made in accordance with the
17- 9 procedures set forth in Code Section 53-5-21 if the will
17-10 has not yet been admitted to probate and shall include a
17-11 prayer for issuance of letters of administration with the
17-12 will annexed. The petition shall set forth the names,
17-13 addresses, and ages or majority status of the
17-14 beneficiaries who are capable of expressing a choice, as
17-15 defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 53-6-14, and the
17-16 circumstances giving rise to the need for an administrator
17-17 with the will annexed. The petition shall be served on
17-18 the beneficiaries of the will who are capable of
17-19 expressing a choice in the manner described in Chapter 11
17-20 of this title. If the petition for letters of
17-21 administration with the will annexed is based upon the
17-22 expiration of a reasonable time for any nominated executor
17-23 to qualify, any nominated executor who has failed to
17-24 qualify shall also be served.
17-25 (b) If the will has been admitted to probate, the petition
17-26 for letters of administration with the will annexed shall
17-27 set forth the names, addresses, and ages or majority
17-28 status of the beneficiaries who are capable of expressing
17-29 a choice, as described in subsection (a) of Code Section
17-30 53-6-14, the date on which the will was admitted to
17-31 probate, and the circumstances giving rise to the need for
17-32 an administrator with the will annexed. The petition
17-33 shall be served on the beneficiaries of the will and the
17-34 executor, if any, of any deceased executor whose death
17-35 created the vacancy in the manner described in Chapter 11
17-36 of this title.
17-37 (c) In the case of an estate partially administered and
17-38 unrepresented because of the death of the previous
17-39 executor, the judge shall determine whether the interest
17-40 of the first estate and the persons interested in the
17-41 first estate will be best served by the appointment of an
17-42 administrator with the will annexed or by permitting the
17-43 executor, if any, appointed under the will of the deceased
18- 1 previous executor to be or become, as the case may be, the
18- 2 executor of the first estate by operation of law."
18- 3 SECTION 22.
18- 4 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
18- 5 53-6-20 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
18- 6 selection or appointment of an administrator, and inserting
18- 7 in its place the following:
18- 8 "53-6-20.
18- 9 An administrator may be unanimously selected by all the
18-10 heirs of a deceased intestate unless the sole heir is the
18-11 decedent's surviving spouse and an action for divorce or
18-12 separate maintenance was pending between the deceased
18-13 intestate and the surviving spouse at the time of death.
18-14 With respect to any heir who is not sui juris, consent may
18-15 be given by the guardian of the individual. When no such
18-16 unanimous selection is made, the probate court shall make
18-17 the appointment that will best serve the interests of the
18-18 estate, considering the following order of preferences:
18-19 (1) The surviving spouse, unless an action for divorce
18-20 or separate maintenance was pending between the deceased
18-21 intestate and the surviving spouse at the time of death;
18-22 (2) One or more other heirs of the intestate or the
18-23 person selected by the majority in interest of them;
18-24 (3) Any other eligible person;
18-25 (4) Any creditor of the estate; or
18-26 (5) The county administrator."
18-27 SECTION 23.
18-28 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
18-29 Code Section 53-6-30 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
18-30 relating to powers of the court to grant temporary letters
18-31 of administration and appoint an administrator and appeals,
18-32 and inserting in its place the following:
18-33 "(a) The probate court may at any time and without notice
18-34 grant temporary letters of administration on an
18-35 unrepresented estate to continue in full force and effect
18-36 until the temporary administrator is discharged or a
18-37 personal representative is appointed."
19- 1 SECTION 24.
19- 2 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
19- 3 53-6-31 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
19- 4 the powers of a temporary administrator, and inserting in
19- 5 its place the following:
19- 6 "53-6-31.
19- 7 A temporary administrator may bring an action for the
19- 8 collection of debts or for personal property of the
19- 9 decedent. If a personal representative is appointed
19-10 pending the action, the personal representative may be
19-11 made a party in lieu of the temporary administrator. A
19-12 temporary administrator shall have the power to collect
19-13 and preserve the assets of the estate and to expend funds
19-14 for this purpose if approved by the judge of the probate
19-15 court after such notice as the judge deems necessary."
19-16 SECTION 25.
19-17 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of
19-18 Code Section 53-6-50 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
19-19 relating to persons required to give bond, and inserting in
19-20 its place the following:
19-21 "(c) A person petitioning to qualify as a personal
19-22 representative of an intestate estate may be relieved from
19-23 the requirement for giving bond by the unanimous consent
19-24 of the heirs of the estate. With respect to any heir who
19-25 is not sui juris, consent may be given by the guardian of
19-26 the individual. If there is no guardian, consent may be
19-27 given by either parent of a minor heir or by a majority in
19-28 interest of the heirs apparent of an incapacitated adult
19-29 heir. The personal representative of a deceased heir is
19-30 authorized to consent for that heir. In no case may
19-31 consent on behalf of an heir who is not sui juris be
19-32 effective if the person consenting is the person
19-33 petitioning to serve as personal representative."
19-34 SECTION 26.
19-35 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of
19-36 Code Section 53-6-51 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
19-37 relating to requisites of bonds, and inserting in its place
19-38 the following:
19-39 "(c) The bond shall be in a sum equal to double the value
19-40 of the estate to be administered; provided, however, that
19-41 the bond shall be in an amount equal to the value of the
20- 1 estate if secured by a licensed commercial surety
20- 2 authorized to transact business in this state. The value
20- 3 of the estate for purposes of the bond shall be determined
20- 4 without regard to the value of any real property or
20- 5 improvements thereon held by the personal representative
20- 6 or temporary administrator as fiduciary but, upon the
20- 7 conversion of the real property into personalty, a new
20- 8 bond shall be given based upon the value of the estate,
20- 9 including the value of the personalty into which the real
20-10 property was converted."
20-11 SECTION 27.
20-12 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
20-13 Code Section 53-6-60 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
20-14 relating to the amount of compensation for a personal
20-15 representative, and inserting in its place the following:
20-16 "(b) If the personal representative's compensation is not
20-17 specified in the will or any separate written agreement,
20-18 the personal representative for services rendered shall be
20-19 entitled to compensation equal to:
20-20 (1) Two and one-half percent commission on all sums of
20-21 money received by the personal representative on account
20-22 of the estate, except on money loaned by and repaid to
20-23 the personal representative, and 2 1/2 percent
20-24 commission on all sums paid out by the personal
20-25 representative, either for debts, legacies, or
20-26 distributive shares;
20-27 (2) Ten percent commission on the amount of interest
20-28 made if, during the course of administration, the
20-29 personal representative shall receive interest on money
20-30 loaned by the personal representative in that capacity
20-31 and shall include the same on the return to the probate
20-32 court so as to become chargeable therewith as a part of
20-33 the corpus of the estate;
20-34 (3) Reasonable compensation, as determined in the
20-35 discretion of the probate court and after such notice,
20-36 if any, as the court shall direct, for the delivery over
20-37 of property in kind, not exceeding 3 percent of the
20-38 appraised value and, in cases where there has been no
20-39 appraisal, not over 3 percent of the fair value as found
20-40 by the judge, irrespective of whether delivery over in
20-41 kind is made pursuant to proceedings for that purpose in
20-42 the probate court and irrespective of whether the
21- 1 property, except money, is tangible or intangible,
21- 2 personal or real; and
21- 3 (4) In the discretion of the probate court, compensation
21- 4 for working land for the benefit of the parties in
21- 5 interest in no case exceeding 10 percent of the annual
21- 6 income of the property so managed."
21- 7 SECTION 28.
21- 8 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
21- 9 53-6-61 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
21-10 expenses of personal representatives, and inserting in its
21-11 place the following:
21-13 Personal representatives shall be allowed reasonable
21-14 expenses incurred in the administration of the estate,
21-15 including without limitation expenses for travel, the
21-16 expenses and premiums incurred in securing a bond, and the
21-17 expenses of counsel and other agents. Such reasonable
21-18 expenses shall be determined after such notice, if any, as
21-19 the court shall direct."
21-20 SECTION 29.
21-21 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
21-22 Code Section 53-7-1 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
21-23 relating to general powers and duties of personal
21-24 representatives and additional powers, and inserting in its
21-25 place the following:
21-26 "(b) As part of the petition for letters testamentary or
21-27 letters of administration or by separate petition, the
21-28 beneficiaries of a testate estate or the heirs of an
21-29 intestate estate may, by unanimous consent, authorize but
21-30 not require the probate court to grant to the personal
21-31 representative any of the powers contained in Code Section
21-32 53-12-232. With respect to any beneficiary or heir who is
21-33 not sui juris, the consent may be given by the guardian ,
21-34 or, if none, by either parent in the case of a minor or by
21-35 a majority in interest of the heirs apparent in the case
21-36 of an incapacitated adult; provided, however, that such
21-37 consent on behalf of an individual who is not sui juris
21-38 shall not be effective when the only individual who is
21-39 consenting is the individual who will serve or who is
21-40 serving as the personal representative. The personal
21-41 representative of a deceased beneficiary or heir is
21-42 authorized to consent on behalf of that beneficiary or
22- 1 heir. The grant of powers may only be ordered after
22- 2 publication of a citation and without any objection being
22- 3 filed. The citation shall be sufficient if it states
22- 4 generally that the petition requests that powers contained
22- 5 in Code Section 53-12-232 be granted."
22- 6 SECTION 30.
22- 7 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
22- 8 53-7-30 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
22- 9 filing and contents of an inventory, and inserting in its
22-10 place the following:
22-12 Unless otherwise provided by will or relieved under Code
22-13 Section 53-7-32 or 53-7-33, the personal representative
22-14 shall prepare an inventory of all the property of the
22-15 decedent. The personal representative shall file the
22-16 inventory with the probate court and shall deliver a copy
22-17 of the inventory to the beneficiaries of a testate estate
22-18 or the heirs of an intestate estate by first-class mail
22-19 within six months after the qualification of the personal
22-20 representative. It shall not be necessary to mail a copy
22-21 of the inventory to any beneficiary or heir who is not sui
22-22 juris or for the court to appoint a guardian for such
22-23 person. The time for filing the inventory may be extended
22-24 by the probate court for good cause shown. The inventory
22-25 shall state that it contains a true statement of all the
22-26 property of the decedent within the knowledge of the
22-27 personal representative and shall be verified in the same
22-28 manner as a petition filed in the probate court. The
22-29 inventory shall state that the inventory has been mailed
22-30 to all beneficiaries or heirs who are entitled to receive
22-31 the inventory and shall provide the name of any
22-32 beneficiary or heir who has waived the right to receive
22-33 the inventory, as provided in Code Section 53-7-32."
22-34 SECTION 31.
22-35 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
22-36 Code Section 53-7-32 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
22-37 relating to waiver of the right to receive the inventory and
22-38 relieving the personal representative of the duty to make
22-39 inventory, and inserting in its place the following:
22-40 "(b) By unanimous written consent, the beneficiaries of a
22-41 testate estate or the heirs of an intestate estate may
22-42 authorize the probate court to relieve the personal
23- 1 representative of the duty to make inventory in the same
23- 2 manner as described in subsection (b) of Code Section
23- 3 53-7-1. Any such unanimous written consent, regardless of
23- 4 the date of execution, which relieves the personal
23- 5 representative from making inventory shall also relieve
23- 6 the personal representative from sending a copy of the
23- 7 inventory to the heirs or beneficiaries."
23- 8 SECTION 32.
23- 9 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
23-10 53-7-33 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
23-11 the power of a testator to dispense with making inventory,
23-12 and inserting in its place the following:
23-14 A testator may, by will, dispense with the necessity of
23-15 the personal representative's making an inventory to the
23-16 probate court or the beneficiaries or both, provided the
23-17 same does not work any injury to creditors or persons
23-18 other than beneficiaries under the will. If a will was
23-19 executed in another state and the will is valid in this
23-20 state and under the laws of the state where the will was
23-21 executed the personal representative would not have been
23-22 required to file inventories or if the will otherwise
23-23 expresses an intent to relieve the personal representative
23-24 from all reporting requirements, such a will shall be
23-25 construed as dispensing with the necessity of inventories
23-26 in Georgia, provided the same does not work any injury to
23-27 creditors or parties other than beneficiaries under the
23-28 will. In all wills, regardless of the date of execution,
23-29 relief from making inventory with the court shall also
23-30 relieve the personal representative from sending a copy of
23-31 the inventory to the beneficiaries."
23-32 SECTION 33.
23-33 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
23-34 53-7-41 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
23-35 notice for creditors to render accounts and failure of
23-36 creditors to give notice of claims, and inserting in its
23-37 place the following:
23-39 The personal representative shall be allowed six months
23-40 from the date of the qualification of the first personal
23-41 representative to serve in which to ascertain the
23-42 condition of the estate. Every personal representative
24- 1 shall within 60 days from the date of qualification give
24- 2 notice by publication, as described in Chapter 11 of this
24- 3 title, for creditors of the estate to render an account of
24- 4 their demands. Every personal representative shall, within
24- 5 60 days from the date of qualification, publish a notice
24- 6 directed generally to all of the creditors of the estate
24- 7 to render an account of their demands. The notice shall
24- 8 be published once a week for four weeks in the official
24- 9 newspaper of the county in which the personal
24-10 representative qualified. Creditors who fail to give
24-11 notice of claims within three months from the date of
24-12 publication of the personal representative's last notice
24-13 shall lose all rights to an equal participation with
24-14 creditors of equal priority to whom distribution is made
24-15 before notice of such claims is brought to the personal
24-16 representative, and they may not hold the personal
24-17 representative liable for a misappropriation of the funds.
24-18 If, however, there are assets in the hands of the personal
24-19 representative sufficient to pay such debts and if no
24-20 claims of greater priority are unpaid, the assets shall be
24-21 thus appropriated notwithstanding failure to give notice."
24-22 SECTION 34.
24-23 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
24-24 53-7-45 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
24-25 compromise of claims, and inserting in its place the
24-28 Personal representatives are authorized to compromise,
24-29 adjust, arbitrate, assign, sue or defend, abandon, or
24-30 otherwise deal with or settle debts or claims in favor of
24-31 or against the estate. A personal representative who
24-32 declines to litigate any claim may assign the claim to a
24-33 creditor or an heir of an intestate estate or a
24-34 beneficiary of a testate estate for the purpose of
24-35 prosecuting the claim at that person's own expense and,
24-36 after reimbursement of the expenses to the creditor, heir,
24-37 or beneficiary, any remaining proceeds shall be paid over
24-38 to the personal representative for administration."
24-39 SECTION 35.
24-40 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
24-41 53-7-50 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
24-42 petition by a personal representative for discharge,
24-43 citation and publication, hearings, and subsequently
25- 1 discovered estates, and inserting in its place the
25- 2 following:
25- 3 "53-7-50.
25- 4 (a) A personal representative who has fully performed all
25- 5 duties or who has been allowed to resign may petition the
25- 6 probate court for discharge from the office and from all
25- 7 liability. The petition shall state that the personal
25- 8 representative has fully administered the estate of the
25- 9 decedent and shall set forth the names and addresses of
25-10 all known heirs of an intestate decedent or beneficiaries
25-11 of a testate decedent, including any persons who succeeded
25-12 to the interest of any heir or beneficiary who died after
25-13 the decedent died, and shall name which of the heirs or
25-14 beneficiaries is or should be represented by a guardian.
25-15 The petition shall state that the personal representative
25-16 has paid all claims against the estate or shall enumerate
25-17 which claims of the estate have not been paid and the
25-18 reason for such nonpayment. The petition shall also state
25-19 that the personal representative has filed all necessary
25-20 inventory and returns or, alternatively, has been relieved
25-21 of such filings by the testator, the heirs or
25-22 beneficiaries, or the probate court.
25-23 (b)(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this
25-24 subsection, upon Upon the filing of a petition for
25-25 discharge, citation shall issue to all heirs or
25-26 beneficiaries, as provided in Chapter 11 of this title,
25-27 requiring them to file any objections to the discharge,
25-28 except that in all cases a citation shall be published
25-29 one time in the newspaper in which sheriff's
25-30 advertisements are published in the county in which the
25-31 petition is filed at least ten days prior to the date on
25-32 or before which any objection is required to be filed.
25-33 Any creditors whose claims are disputed shall be served
25-34 in accordance with Chapter 11 of this title.
25-35 (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, it
25-36 shall not be necessary to notify any heir or beneficiary
25-37 who has relieved the personal representative of all
25-38 liability or any heir or beneficiary with respect to
25-39 whom the personal representative has been relieved of
25-40 all further liability in a binding proceeding such as a
25-41 settlement of accounts pursuant to Code Sections 53-7-60
25-42 through 53-7-63 or an intermediate report pursuant to
25-43 Code Sections 53-7-73 through 53-7-76.
26- 1 (3) For purposes of this Code section, a beneficiary is
26- 2 a person, including a trust, who is designated in a will
26- 3 to take an interest in real or personal property and who
26- 4 (A) has a present interest, including but not limited to
26- 5 a vested remainder interest but not including a trust
26- 6 beneficiary where there is a trustee who is not also the
26- 7 personal representative seeking discharge and (B) whose
26- 8 identity and whereabouts are known or may be determined
26- 9 by reasonable diligence.
26-10 (c) If any party in interest files objection to the
26-11 discharge, a hearing shall be held. If as a result of the
26-12 hearing, the probate court is satisfied that the personal
26-13 representative has faithfully and honestly discharged the
26-14 office, an order shall be entered releasing and
26-15 discharging the personal representative from all
26-16 liability. If no objections are filed, the probate court
26-17 shall enter the order for discharge without further
26-18 proceedings or delay. Any heir or beneficiary or creditor
26-19 who is a minor at the time of the discharge and who is not
26-20 represented by a guardian may, within two years of
26-21 reaching the age of majority, commence suit against the
26-22 personal representative and such discharge shall be no bar
26-23 to the action.
26-24 (d) If other property of the estate is discovered after an
26-25 estate has been settled and the personal representative
26-26 discharged, the probate court, upon petition of any
26-27 interested person and upon such notice as it directs, may
26-28 appoint the same personal representative or a successor
26-29 personal representative to administer the subsequently
26-30 discovered estate. If a new appointment is made, unless
26-31 the probate court orders otherwise, the provisions of this
26-32 title shall apply as appropriate; but no claim previously
26-33 barred may be asserted in the subsequent administration.
26-34 (e) A personal representative may petition the court
26-35 solely for discharge from office by filing the petition
26-36 described in subsection (a) of this Code section and by
26-37 giving notice by publication one time in the official
26-38 county newspaper and by first-class mail to all creditors
26-39 of the estate whose claims have not been paid informing
26-40 them of their right to file an objection and be heard as
26-41 described in subsection (c) of this Code section."
27- 1 SECTION 36.
27- 2 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
27- 3 53-7-51 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
27- 4 disposition of unclaimed funds upon discharge, and inserting
27- 5 in its place the following:
27- 6 "53-7-51.
27- 7 If funds are in the hands of the personal representative
27- 8 and no person claims such funds, the probate court may
27- 9 nevertheless grant a discharge , at the same time passing
27-10 an order requiring the personal representative to deposit
27-11 the funds in a solvent bank as the court may direct. The
27-12 discharge shall not take effect until the money is
27-14 SECTION 37.
27-15 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
27-16 53-7-68 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
27-17 mailing of the return to heirs and beneficiaries and
27-18 relieving the personal representative of the duty to file a
27-19 return, and inserting in its place the following:
27-21 (a) Upon filing the annual return with the probate court,
27-22 the personal representative shall mail by first-class mail
27-23 a copy of the return, but not the vouchers, to each heir
27-24 of an intestate estate or each beneficiary of a testate
27-25 estate. It shall not be necessary to mail a copy of the
27-26 return to any heir or beneficiary who is not sui juris or
27-27 for the court to appoint a guardian for such person. The
27-28 personal representative shall file a verified statement
27-29 with the probate court stating that all required mailings
27-30 of the return to heirs or beneficiaries have been made.
27-31 (b) Any heir or beneficiary may waive individually the
27-32 right to receive a copy of the annual return by a written
27-33 statement that is delivered to the personal
27-34 representative. Such waiver may be revoked in writing at
27-35 any time.
27-36 (c) By unanimous written consent, the heirs of an
27-37 intestate estate or the beneficiaries of a testate estate
27-38 may authorize the probate court to relieve the personal
27-39 representative from filing annual returns with them or
27-40 with the court or both, in the same manner as provided in
27-41 subsection (b) of Code Section 53-7-1. Any such unanimous
28- 1 written consent, regardless of the date of execution,
28- 2 which relieves the personal representative from filing
28- 3 annual returns with the court shall also relieve the
28- 4 personal representative from sending a copy of the return
28- 5 to the beneficiaries."
28- 6 SECTION 38.
28- 7 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
28- 8 53-7-69 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
28- 9 power of a testator to dispense with the necessity of a
28-10 return, and inserting in its place the following:
28-12 A testator may, by will, dispense with the necessity of
28-13 the personal representative's filing an annual return with
28-14 the probate court or the beneficiaries or both, provided
28-15 the same does not work any injury to creditors or persons
28-16 other than beneficiaries under the will. If a will was
28-17 executed in another state and the will is valid in this
28-18 state and under the laws of the state where the will was
28-19 executed the personal representative would not have been
28-20 required to file annual returns or if the will otherwise
28-21 expresses an intent to relieve the personal representative
28-22 from all reporting requirements, such a will shall be
28-23 construed as dispensing with the necessity of annual
28-24 returns in Georgia, provided the same does not work any
28-25 injury to creditors or parties other than beneficiaries
28-26 under the will. In all wills, regardless of the date of
28-27 execution, relief from filing returns with the court shall
28-28 also relieve the personal representative from sending a
28-29 copy of the return to the beneficiaries."
28-30 SECTION 39.
28-31 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of
28-32 Code Section 53-7-73 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
28-33 relating to the filing and contents of an intermediate
28-34 report and notice to heirs and beneficiaries, and inserting
28-35 in its place the following:
28-36 "(c) The probate court, upon the petition and return being
28-37 filed, shall issue a citation and shall require any
28-38 objections to be filed on the date set for the hearing
28-39 fixed by the court at a regular term of the court that
28-40 convenes not less than 20 days after the date of filing of
28-41 the petition in conformity with Chapter 11 of this title.
28-42 Service shall be made on the heirs of an intestate estate
29- 1 or the beneficiaries of a testate estate or such other
29- 2 persons as the court requires in conformity with Chapter
29- 3 11 of this title."
29- 4 SECTION 40.
29- 5 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
29- 6 53-7-74 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
29- 7 filing of objections to intermediate reports, continuation
29- 8 of hearings, and appeals, and inserting in its place the
29- 9 following:
29-11 At or before the time fixed for hearing, any parties at
29-12 interest may file objections to the personal
29-13 representative's report, actions, and accounting, in which
29-14 case the hearing on the accounting shall be automatically
29-15 continued until the next regular term of the probate court
29-16 a date certain, when, subject to the court's power to
29-17 grant continuances, the same shall be heard as other cases
29-18 pending in the court with like right of appeal to the
29-19 superior court; in such case, an appeal by consent may be
29-20 taken to the superior court. Such appellate procedures
29-21 shall not apply to cases provided for by Article 6 of
29-22 Chapter 9 of Title 15. The parties at interest who have
29-23 been served appropriately and who have filed no objections
29-24 to the report and accounting need not be served with
29-25 notice of an appeal or any other or further proceedings,
29-26 and their consent shall not be required for an appeal to
29-27 the superior court."
29-28 SECTION 41.
29-29 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of
29-30 Code Section 53-8-1 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
29-31 relating to authorized investments, standard of care,
29-32 deviation from the will or other disposition, and
29-33 investments by a personal representative who is a bank or
29-34 trust company, and inserting in its place the following:
29-35 "(c) Within the limitations of the standard provided in
29-36 subsection (b) of this Code section and considering
29-37 individual investments as a part of an overall
29-38 administrative strategy, a personal representative is
29-39 authorized to acquire and retain every kind of property
29-40 whether real, personal, or mixed, and every kind of
29-41 investment, specifically including, but not by way of
29-42 limitation, bonds, debentures, and other corporate
30- 1 obligations and stocks, preferred or common, which persons
30- 2 of prudence, discretion, and intelligence acquire or
30- 3 retain for their own account; and within the limitations
30- 4 of such standard, a personal representative may retain
30- 5 property properly acquired, without limitation as to time
30- 6 and without regard to its suitability for original
30- 7 purchase."
30- 8 SECTION 42.
30- 9 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
30-10 Code Section 53-8-15 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
30-11 relating to passage of title to heirs or beneficiaries and
30-12 assent of the personal representative, and inserting in its
30-13 place the following:
30-14 "(a) The title to all property of an estate being in the
30-15 personal representative for the payment of debts and other
30-16 purposes of administration, title to property in the
30-17 estate does not pass to the heirs or beneficiaries until
30-18 the personal representative assents thereto in evidence of
30-19 the distribution of the property to them, except as
30-20 otherwise provided in Code Section 53-2-7."
30-21 SECTION 43.
30-22 Said title is further amended by striking Code Section
30-23 53-9-14 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998," relating to
30-24 reports of conservators and court orders, and inserting in
30-25 its place the following:
30-27 The conservator shall within 60 days after appointment
30-28 make a written report to the probate court setting forth
30-29 the condition of the estate of the missing individual,
30-30 together with a schedule of any debts that may be owed by
30-31 the missing person, an estimate of the income from the
30-32 estate and the expenses necessary to its preservation, and
30-33 a statement showing the names, ages, and condition of any
30-34 individuals who may have been dependent on the missing
30-35 person for support, and a recommendation as to how the
30-36 estate should be distributed. The court, after
30-37 considering the report and making any further
30-38 investigation the court may deem necessary, shall make
30-39 such order as will most effectively tend to provide for
30-40 the support of any individuals who may have been dependent
30-41 upon the missing individual for support and for the
30-42 handling of the property, including any business or
31- 1 business interest, owned by the missing person. The order
31- 2 may provide for the payment of those debts of the missing
31- 3 person as the court deems just and proper. The order An
31- 4 order of an appropriate court may allow the conservator to
31- 5 engage in such estate planning dispositions of the missing
31- 6 person's property as are authorized by Code Section
31- 7 29-5-5.1. The order may be modified in the discretion of
31- 8 the court at any time upon petition by the conservator,
31- 9 any individual dependent upon the missing individual for
31-10 support, the guardian of any such individual, or any
31-11 person having an interest in the property or in any
31-12 business of the missing individual."
31-13 SECTION 44.
31-14 Said title is further amended by striking subsections (a)
31-15 and (b) of Code Section 53-11-2 of the "Revised Probate Code
31-16 of 1998," relating to the definition of "guardian," persons
31-17 represented, appointment, successors, and guardians named in
31-18 petition, and inserting in their place the following:
31-19 "(a) As used in this Code section, the term 'guardian'
31-20 means the guardian ad litem appointed by the probate court
31-21 who may represent a single party or more than one party or
31-22 a class of parties with common or nonadverse interests;
31-23 provided, however, that the court may determine for the
31-24 purpose of the particular proceeding that the natural
31-25 guardian, if any, or the testamentary guardian, if any, or
31-26 the duly constituted guardian of the property, if any, or
31-27 the duly constituted guardian of the person, if any, has
31-28 no conflict of interest and thus may serve as guardian
31-29 represent for the purpose of the proceeding for a party
31-30 who is not sui juris, who is unborn, or who is unknown.
31-31 (b) When a party to a proceeding in the probate court is
31-32 not sui juris, is unborn, or is unknown, that party shall
31-33 be represented in the proceeding by a guardian as defined
31-34 in subsection (a) of this Code section. Service upon or
31-35 notice to a guardian shall constitute service upon or
31-36 notice to the party represented and no additional service
31-37 upon or notice to such party shall be required. Waivers,
31-38 acknowledgments, consents, answers, objections, or other
31-39 documents executed by the guardian shall be binding upon
31-40 the party represented."
31-41 SECTION 45.
31-42 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of
31-43 Code Section 53-11-3 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
32- 1 relating to personal service generally, and inserting in its
32- 2 place the following:
32- 3 "(d) Individuals who are not sui juris shall be served as
32- 4 provided in this Code section chapter or as provided in
32- 5 Code Section 15-9-17. Incapacitated individuals who are
32- 6 residents of this state but are confined in another state
32- 7 may be served by service on a guardian ad litem appointed
32- 8 in this state."
32- 9 SECTION 46.
32-10 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of
32-11 Code Section 53-11-6 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
32-12 relating to waivers or acknowledgment of service or notice
32-13 and consent to granting of relief or entry of an order, and
32-14 inserting in its place the following:
32-15 "(b) Except as otherwise prescribed by law, the written
32-16 consent of a party to the granting of any relief or the
32-17 entry of any order sought in a proceeding, whether
32-18 executed before or after the filing of the petition, shall
32-19 constitute a waiver and acknowledgment of notice and
32-20 service of the proceedings, waiver of citation, entry of
32-21 appearance, answer admitting all allegations of fact set
32-22 forth in the petition as true and correct, and irrevocable
32-23 consent to the granting of the relief or the order
32-25 SECTION 47.
32-26 Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of
32-27 Code Section 53-11-9 of the "Revised Probate Code of 1998,"
32-28 relating to issuance of citation upon filing of a petition,
32-29 contents, and meaning, and inserting in its place the
32-31 "(a) Upon the filing of a petition, a citation shall be
32-32 issued addressed to the persons required to be served or
32-33 entitled to notice; provided, however, if all parties have
32-34 acknowledged service and assented to the petition, no
32-35 citation need issue. The citation shall state that any
32-36 objection must be made in writing and shall designate the
32-37 date on or before which objections must be filed in the
32-38 probate court. The citation also shall state whether the
32-39 hearing will take place on a certain date or be specially
32-40 scheduled for a later date. Where appropriate, the
32-41 citation shall state that if no objections are filed, the
32-42 petition will be granted With respect to all proceedings
33- 1 under this title, the citation, if any, may state that if
33- 2 no objections are filed the petition may be granted
33- 3 without a hearing."
33- 4 SECTION 48.
33- 5 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are
33- 6 repealed.
Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/28/98