Many people assume a living trust is all they need to pass on their assets to beneficiaries upon their death. However, unless every asset is documented in the trust, this can be a difficult and long process. A pour-over will can help your estate planning be complete.
Pour-Over Will Basics
To begin with, a pour-over will is not a revocable living trust. That being said, the two go hand-in-hand. A trust dictates the beneficiaries of your estate who inherit your assets upon your death. A pour-over is a safety measure that covers items not included in or transferred to your living trust. In essence, property passes through this will and pours into your trust before passing on to the beneficiaries you named in the trust.
In many cases, your estate planning attorney may have created a pour-over will at the same time you set up your living trust. Doing it this way makes things easier in the long run. If this is not the case, speak with your attorney to add this to your plan so that it is taken care of.
Advantages of a Pour-Over Will
Although a will must still go through probate, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Besides the obvious benefit of safeguarding all your assets and ensuring your property passes on to your beneficiaries, there are three main benefits of establishing a pour-over will as part of your estate. These include the following:
- Privacy. Once the will passes into the trust, information is kept private. That means that the public has no knowledge about who inherits your assets, as that information is protected by the trust.
- Comprehensive planning. It is unlikely that most people have all their possessions included in a trust before death. A pour-over will allows you to have a comprehensive plan in place for your property. Your estate planning attorney can help you create a will that covers everything.
- Clear ownership. Since the pour-over will passes your property to the trust, everything is controlled in one document. With all the assets controlled by the trust, your executor has an easier time of arranging and distributing your property.
An attorney can help you get all your affairs in order. Here at Horn & Johnsen, we help clients plan for services pertaining to trusts and wills, among other areas. Contact us today to learn more about how we can use our expertise to help you with estate planning or if you have any questions about our services.