Senate passes Hooks’ bill to recover Dormant Trust Accounts
ATLANTA (March 24, 2010) – The Georgia State Senate today overwhelmingly passed legislation authored by Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus) to recover dormant trust accounts. Senate Bill 302 establishes state law to ensure trust accounts are used for their original purpose. Hooks is the Dean of the Senate, and one of the chamber’s most influential members.
“There are thousands of trust accounts lying dormant across the state that have been forgotten over time. The people who created these trusts did so with the intention that their money would be used to serve a particular purpose long after they passed, and it’s only fair that we ensure their hard-earned money is used for that intent,” said Hooks. “This bill closes an enormous loophole in Georgia’s trust law that empowers trustees to ensure that these trusts are used for their original intent.”
If there has been no distribution from a trust account within 10 years of its creation, or within five years of the last distribution, the trustee must notify the district attorney where the majority of the trust rests. If the district attorney determines that the trust is not being used for its original purpose, they will file a petition with the Georgia Superior Court. The trustee and beneficiaries will be served with a notice to give all stakeholders an opportunity to be involved in the court’s action. If the court decides that the trust is not being used for its purpose and is dormant, they will issue an order to reform the trust to align it with its original intent.
Hooks discovered that current Georgia law has no provision to distribute dormant trust accounts after helping a local constituent resolve an issue surrounding a trust account that had been created in the 1930’s. Banks across the state have hundreds of these accounts in their care, many of which are lost over time when banks change ownership or close. Hooks has noted that many churches also hold similar accounts.
Hooks has worked with the State Bar of Georgia and Georgia bankers to perfect this legislation, and will work with his colleagues in the House of Representatives as the bill moves through the legislative process.
Sen. George Hooks represents the 14th Senate District, which includes Dooly, Macon, Marion, Peach, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Upson and Webster counties and portions of Crawford County. He can be reached at his office at 404.656.0065 or by email at email@example.com.
For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2010
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Kallarin Richards, Senior Communications Specialist