Pour-over wills: What are they, and why might you need one?

Pour-over wills: What are they, and why might you need one?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate |

A pour-over will helps ensure all your assets are accounted for when you die. You should consider it if you make a trust the mainstay of your estate plan.

Trusts provide you with a way to keep assets out of probate. Any property within the trust will pass to the people you choose more quickly once you die without being at risk from creditors.

The problem is that the trust can only cover the assets you specifically mention when creating or updating the trust document. For example:

If you own a house when you first create the trust, you can transfer ownership of it to the trust. In the trust document, you can then state that it should pass to your youngest child when you die.

If you then buy a second property and wish to leave that to your middle child, you need to again transfer ownership to the trust and update the trust document to clarify your wishes for this particular asset.

Property is a significant investment, so remembering to transfer ownership and update the trust document should be easy to remember.

Yet you also buy or acquire many other less valuable assets throughout your life and may not always remember to make the necessary arrangements for them.

That is where the pour-over will come in

You set this up so that any assets unaccounted for automatically become part of the revocable living trust. You can make a general plan for their distribution in the trust document. It means anything you forgot to include in your trust-based estate plan or did not get around to including will not suffer the slow fate of probate and cannot be claimed by creditors.