Pour Over Will: What Is It And How Does It Work?
Pour over wills are often used in an estate plan that features a revocable living trust. Understanding what a pour over will can help you understand if you want to include this device in your estate plan. A pour over will often play a role in probate. Possessing knowledge regarding pour over wills can help you understand your rights as a testator.
What Is A Pour Over Will?
A pour over will is a valid will that transfers all of a testator’s individual property into a revocable living trust when the testator dies. Any property that relates to the will must pour over into the trust upon the testator’s death. The pour over will provides an added layer of safety for the testator and the revocable living trust.
The individual property that goes through the pour over will must go through probate, but this procedure will be less thorough than regular probate procedures. A pour over will offers benefits to testators and beneficiaries.
Pour Over Wills and Estate Planning Options
A revocable living trust is protected by the pour over will. All assets that are not placed in the trust at the time of the testator’s death are subject to full probate administration. The pour over picks up these assets that have not been placed in the trust at the time of the testator’s death and places them inside the revocable living trust.
Using this device can provide an added layer of protection for assets that may not have been placed inside the trust due to the sudden or unexpected death of the testator. Also, some trust assets may not become known until after the testator’s death. In these circumstances it is beneficial to have a pour over will to protect these assets so they can be incorporated into the revocable living trust.
Trust and Pour Over Wills
The probate administration process may reveal important information regarding an individual’s life and assets. Having a valid pour over will can protect the testator’s private information. The probate administration will reveal that the assets were poured over into a trust and the trust terms remain private. Using a pour over will can also simplify an estate plan.
The assets poured over into the trust will be governed by the trust terms. Only one legal document, the revocable living trust, will control all of the individual’s assets. A pour over will should almost always be used as part of an estate plan that features a revocable living trust.
Pour over wills also allows parents to name guardians for their minor children when using an estate plan featuring a revocable living trust. The court may name guardians for minor children if the guardians are not designated in the pour over will. Parents want to make sure that they choose who will care for their minor children in the event of their death. Leaving this decision up to the court can be detrimental to your surviving minor children and other family members.