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McElrath v. Citizens & Southern Nat’l Bank, 229 Ga. 20 (1972)

A trust sought direction concerning whether it was required to pay for private school tuition. A grandfather established a trust for the support, maintenance and education of his minor grandchildren. Later, when his son divorced, the son asked the trust to pay his children’s tuition. The former wife responded on behalf of the children, contending the trust should not be diminished when the son had a legal obligation to pay support. The Supreme Court found otherwise. A support trust is available for support. Not only could it pay tuition, its existence is a factor that could be considered in reducing child support obligations. The court also found that the parent who had paid child support was entitled to reimbursement. The availability of the trust in McElrath, where public policy usually requires payment of child support, suggests that any support trust would be within a creditor’s reach.

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