What is a pour over will and how does it work?

Estate Planning Attorney

A pour over will is a very critical component of most estate plans, especially if the estate plan utilizes a revocable living trust. But you may not know what this is, and you may not know what a revocable living trust is either. That’s okay, the estate planning attorneys that you are talking to you are going to be prepared to help you. They may be from many law firms, such as Johnston Marineaus PLLP.

What is a revocable trust?

A revocable trust is a type of trust that allows you to amend at any time, or even revoke it and destroy it if you decide that you no longer need it. Anybody that is deemed to be a competent adult may establish a revocable living trust and they can name any competent adult as a trustee. A revocable trust allows the grantor to keep control of the assets in the trust, and the grantor is always in control.

The definition of a pour over will

I pour over will is going to be the last will and testament that somebody leaves; and this will transfer all the decedent’s individual property at his or her death to a living trust. The pour over will is directing any property that passes through the will is going to be transferred into the trust, meaning that the pour over will is a safety net for the trust. The property that passes through the pour over will have to be probated. It is going to be a lesser form of probate and a full probate process because it is going into a trust.

How the pour over will works

The pour over will is a safety net when the trust is involved. The trust is essentially the bucket and the assets are the water. An asset that was not placed into the trust buck at the time of the grantor’s death is going to be subject to probate, and the pour over will can be visualized as a teacher which allows that any assets that were not placed in the trust at the time of the grantor’s death to then pour over into the trust.

The pour over well is very important because if an individual values their privacy, they would not want something leaked during probate. During probate, all that will happen is that probate is going to show the assets were transferred to a trust in the terms of the trust are still private, which helps you keep everything that was brought into the trust private. Once these assets are poured over into the trust, they are governed by the trust rules, just like every other asset in the trust.

A pour over will is often where parents can name guardians for children, especially if they are using a trust based estate plan. If the parents have not named guardians for their children, it will be left up to the court who should care for the children if the parents die.

If you have questions about a pour over will and how it might be relevant to your estate planning, you should reach out to an estate planning attorney.

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