What is a pour-over will?

an older couple estate planning

If you have been putting off creating an estate plan, it is vital to act before it’s too late to protect your hard-earned assets. To secure your future, you should utilize different estate planning tools, such as a will and trust to ensure your wishes are carried out as you intended after your death. If you have decided to create a revocable or irrevocable trust, you should also consider pairing that trust with a pour-over will. Please continue reading to learn the importance of establishing a pour-over will when estate planning, and discover how an adept Montgomery County Will Drafting Attorney can help you protect your hard-earned assets. 

How does a pour-over will work?

Firstly, a pour-over will is a legal document that includes a special provision to transfer any unallocated assets of a person’s estate to a living trust upon death. Any remaining leftover assets will automatically be transferred to a previously established trust. This type of will works in conjunction with a living trust which is highly beneficial as it can be viewed as a type of safety net that ensures all of the assets in the estate are protected after you pass away.

When estate planning, trusts are often created to avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process when distributing assets to intended beneficiaries after a grantor’s death. A pour-over will mainly cover assets that are not placed in a trust. Essentially, it is an additional form of protection to your existing trust that lets the court know that the unallocated assets remaining in your estate, whether you intentionally or unintentionally did not include them in your trust should be immediately transferred upon your death so that they can be distributed to your designated heirs.

Can it help me avoid the probate process?

Although assets placed in a trust can be distributed directly to your beneficiaries without going through the probate process, a pour-over will not avoid probate. This is primarily because the assets remaining in a pour-over will are not owned yet by the trust, and anything that has not been transferred to your living trust must go through probate court. Since they are unallocated assets from the estate, they must go through the probate process before they can be transferred to your intended heirs. However, a pour-over will offer you more privacy despite being unable to avoid the probate process.

If you are considering establishing a pour-over will, contact a trusted Montgomery County will drafting attorney from JD Katz, who can help you decide if a pour-over will is right for you. Our firm is committed to assisting clients to utilize various estate planning tools to protect their future.