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O.C.G.A. § 53-1-20. Renouncing property; procedures; relation back; abridgement; fiduciary duties

(a) For purposes of this Code section, the term “property” includes any interest in property and any power over or right with respect to the property.
(b) Any person to whom an interest in property is transferred or who succeeds to property by contract or by operation of law may renounce the property in whole or in part as provided in this Code section. A person may renounce even if a spendthrift or similar restriction applies to the property renounced. Persons who may renounce include fiduciaries acting on behalf of an individual, such as personal representatives, trustees, conservators, or guardians, as well as duly authorized attorneys in fact, whether acting on behalf of an individual or fiduciary.
(c) A renunciation must be made by a written instrument that describes the renounced property, declares the renunciation and the extent of it, and is signed by the person making the renunciation.
(d) The written instrument must be received by the transferor of the property, the transferor’s legal representative, or other holder of title to the property not later than the date which is nine months after the later of:

(1) The date of the transfer; or
(2) The day on which the person making the renunciation reaches the age of 21.
The instrument may also be filed in the probate court of the county in which proceedings concerning the transferor’s estate are pending or in which they could be commenced and, in the case of real property, in the real property records of the county in which the real property is located. An instrument so filed in the probate court shall be conclusively presumed to have been received by the personal representative of the transferor’s estate not later than the date of such filing, but earlier receipt may be shown.

(e) A person who has accepted property or any of its benefits may not renounce the property.
(f) (1)

(A) Except as otherwise provided by the will or other governing instrument, a renunciation shall cause the renounced property to pass as if the person renouncing had predeceased the decedent or, in the case of property passing upon exercise of a power of appointment, as if the person renouncing had predeceased the holder of the power, even if the acceleration of a contingent remainder or other interest results. A will or other governing instrument may otherwise provide expressly or by implication, but the fact that a remainder or other future interest following a renounced interest is conditioned upon surviving the holder of such renounced interest shall not, without more, be sufficient to indicate that such conditioned interest should not accelerate by reason of such renunciation.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, solely for the purposes of the proviso of paragraph (5) and the proviso of paragraph (7) of subsection (c) of Code Section 53-2-1, any individual renouncing who is the only sibling or the only aunt or uncle surviving the decedent shall not be deemed to have predeceased the decedent.

(2) Renounced property that is the subject of an attempted outright gift shall be treated as an incomplete gift.
(3) A renounced power over property shall be treated as if such power had not been created with respect to the person renouncing such power.
(4) The expression in a renunciation of an intent or desire that the property pass to certain persons shall be considered merely precatory and shall have no legal effect unless specifically declared to be a condition of the renunciation.

(g) In every case a renunciation relates back for all purposes to the applicable date among the following:

(1) The date of death of the decedent;
(2) The date of the death of the holder of the power of appointment;
(3) The date the gift was attempted; or
(4) The date the power was created.

(h) This Code section does not abridge the right of any person to transfer or renounce any property under any other statute or common law. Any renunciation that is otherwise valid but fails to meet the requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall operate as a transfer of the property to those persons who would have received it had the renunciation met those requirements.
(i) Nothing in this Code section alters the duties of any fiduciary to act in the best interests of the person the fiduciary represents. This subsection shall not, however, limit the power granted by this Code section to a fiduciary to renounce property.

Note: The Medders decision held that a renunciation is a transfer for less than fair market value as of the date of the renunciation, not as of the date of decedent’s death.

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