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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The Roger C. Wilson Law Firm, PC  has won a substantial victory for several of its clients before the Georgia Supreme Court in a complex case involving federal and state banking, financial, and estate laws, Tuvim, et al. v. United Jewish Communities, et al., no. S09A0006,decided June 15, 2009. In the case, handled on appeal by Roger C. Wilson, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Firm clients on all claims presented there and reversed a lower court’s decisions to the contrary.
The principle issue in the case was the propriety of a corporation being a “pay-on-death” beneficiary on certain financial instruments (trust and deposit bank accounts and federal government bonds) so that the corporation would receive the assets from those instruments after the death of the person who created them. Roger C. Wilson argued to the Court that under both state and federal law, corporations are forbidden from being such a beneficiary on those kinds of
instruments. Consequently, he argued, upon the death of the person who created those instruments, the assets underlying them should pass not to such corporation but instead to the
individual heirs of the deceased person.

The Supreme Court agreed and ruled in favor of the Firm’s clients, the individual heirs in this case.

The case also involved additional issues under Georgia law applicable to administration of estates. The lower court had ruled at trial that even if corporations were disqualified as pay-on-death beneficiaries on the financial instruments at issue in this case, the underlying assets should nevertheless pass to the corporation involved, and not to the individual heirs, based on other doctrines of Georgia law known as cy pres and unjust enrichment. On appeal Roger C. Wilson challenged those rulings too, arguing that those doctrines are inapplicable in this case.

The Supreme Court agreed and ruled in favor of his clients on these issues as well. Thus, on all substantive claims and issues involved in the case on appeal, the Supreme Court agreed with
Roger Wilson’s arguments, ruled in favor of his clients, and reversed the rulings and judgments of the lower trial court to the contrary.