Pour-Over Will

A pour-over will ensures any missed assets are transferred according to your trust.

When you work with your attorney to create a revocable living trust as a way to transfer assets to your loved ones without the delays and expense of probate, you might feel like you no longer need a will. However, for a variety of reasons, it is still a good idea to have a will to compliment your trust, and the type that works best in many cases is a pour-over will.

Whether you already have a trust or you are in the process of building your estate plan around a trust, Inhulsen Law can prepare a pour-over will that coordinates with your trust and includes any additional safeguards that you may need.

Why You Still Need a Will Even if You Have a Trust

A trust provides a very efficient way to pass property to your loved ones after your death. Instead of waiting for the probate court to approve all the details, your successor trustee can pay your final bills and distribute assets directly to your successor beneficiaries. However, your trustee can only distribute assets that have been properly transferred into the trust.

What if something gets left out? Anything that is not part of the trust or not set up to pass by other means (such as a beneficiary clause) becomes part of your estate. If you don’t have a will, property in your estate passes to others according to the laws of intestate succession. This might result in property being transferred to someone in a way you had not intended. If you had a plan to divide assets among family in a particular manner, the transfer through intestate succession may upset the balance. Even worse, valuable assets could end up with someone you wanted to exclude from your plans.

The way to avoid this problem is to create a pour-over will. That way, any property left out of your trust will still transfer according to your plans.

How a Pour-Over Will Operates

A pour-over will channels any property in your estate into your trust. Then that property will be distributed in accordance with the terms of the trust, keeping your estate plans on track.

In addition, a pour-over will maintains the privacy that you enjoy with a trust-based estate plan. While a pour-over will becomes a matter of public record when it is admitted to probate, the provisions of the will do not reveal any information about your property or the details of bequests. The will simply states that property will be allocated to your trust, and the details remain private.

A Will Can Accomplish Some Tasks That Your Trust Cannot

Another reason it is important to have a will even if you have a trust is that you can use your will to accomplish some goals that cannot be performed through a trust. For instance, if you have minor children, you can nominate a guardian for your children in your will. You cannot make a guardian nomination through a trust.

You Can Still Avoid Probate Even if You Have a Pour-Over Will

Creating a pour-over does not automatically mean your family will be subjected to the costly requirements of the probate process. If your assets are aligned correctly, then they will pass outside of probate, just as you had planned. Or if you have left some assets out of your trust but they are of a value below the limit to trigger probate obligations, then those assets may be eligible to pass through a simplified process.

The pour-over will is created as a safety net to protect you in case an asset is missed or is in the process of being transferred at the wrong time. If probate is required, it will only involve the assets left out of the trust, so it will not hold up the distribution of your other property.

Inhulsen Law Can Create a Pour-Over Will to Meet Your Specific Needs

To protect and provide for your loved ones, you need a comprehensive estate plan that covers all the bases and includes contingency plans in case a problem arises along the way. A pour-over will provides that type of coverage just in case you need it. If the provisions aren’t needed, they will not impact your other plans. But if they are needed, they will keep your plan in alignment.

At Inhulsen Law, we build plans designed to care for your needs regardless of what may happen in the days to come. To talk to us about preparing a pour-over will or taking other strategic steps to secure your future.

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