Under Georgia law, a gift can be made for a specific purpose without the necessity of a trust. OCGA § 44-5-87. However, if it appears that the expressed purpose of the gift cannot be accomplished, then the law imposes a trust over it, in favor of the grantor. Id.
A case announced yesterday by the Court of Appeals addresses this question about the above law: How do we know when it's clear a gift's purpose can't be accomplished? In Choi v. Immanuel Korean United Methodist Church, the Court of Appeals considered whether a trust should not be imposed over a large donation to a church's building fund, when no building had yet been constructed. 2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 218.
John Goodman, the Florida millionaire, has notoriously adopted his girlfriend, who is only six years his junior.
Trial and heirs blog has a very interesting analysis of the matter here. As the authors explain it, a primary reason for the adoption is that Goodman's irrevocable trust for his children needed tending to.
It seems the trustee of the trust, in Goodman's view, was not managing it well on behalf of his teenage children. And since the trust was irrevocable, Goodman himself could not do anything to change the trustee.
Enter his girlfriend. Goodman's plan appears to have been to make her his legal "child," thus giving her the right to more closely monitor the behavior of the trustee from the standpoint of a beneficiary of the trust.
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a LaGrange, Georgia, and metro Atlanta law firm that advises clients on estate planning matters, including irrevocable trusts
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
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