Revocable trusts are often an important part of estate plans in Georgia because, among other advantages, they avoid the cost, publicity and delay of the probate process. During the life of the person who makes the trust, called the settlor, it allows for the estate to be managed with or without a third party. When the settlor dies, a revocable trust can act as a substitute for a will by providing direction as to the disposition of property.
Some legal decisions and developments have had an impact on the rules for third-party trustees with regard to contingent beneficiaries. The trustee of a revocable trust should use caution before heeding the instructions of the settlor if those instructions could be seen as contrary to trust terms. In cases where the settlor has diminished capacity, the trustee should determine what rights, if any, the contingent beneficiaries have. It is possible that the trust itself eliminates the rights of contingent remainder beneficiaries in the event of incapacity of the settlor.