The main benefits of a Pour Over Will when used in conjunction with a Revocable Living Trust will keep you, the testator, from dying intestate. The Pour Over Will is a testamentary provision to the trust and is created during your lifetime so that your testamentary assets go where you want them to be administered and distributed as part of your trust.
Pour-Over Wills avoid a huge problem because if probate assets are not moved to a trust, then those assets pass by intestate succession. As long as the Pour-Over Will meets the requirements of a valid will, your Pour-Over Will will prevent you from dying intestate.
The objective is to provide a single, unified trust management and disposition of assets transferred to the living trust during your lifetime and distribute your assets owned by you, the testator, at your time of death.
Since you put your assets in the living trust before you die, then upon your death your loved ones can start distributing assets without going to probate court. However, remember that the property in the trust cannot be an expectancy of property, it must be actual property.
A Pour Over Will is drafted especially for the benefit of helping an estate avoid probate and makes sure that you don’t die intestate.
Advantages and Benefits of a Pour Over Will
The Pour Over Will comes into play if and only if there are probate assets not already added to the trust. If there are no probate assets then the Pour Over Will does nothing – the trust will handle everything. Most often, you can easily differentiate between trust property and non-trust property if it is owned by the trustee.
A Pour Over Will is drafted especially for the benefit of helping an estate avoid probate.
Points to keep in mind when using a Pour Over Will and estate planning:
- Property can only be probate or trust property – it can’t be both
- You can take non-probate assets, life insurance is a great example, and have them paid to the trust after death
- A Pour Over Will is a will that makes sure that you don’t die intestate
- The Pour Over Will, in essence, states that when I die, if there is any probate property, it goes to my trust.
- A well-orchestrated estate plan should be mainly comprised of a trust document, a Pour Over Will, a medical power of attorney, a financial power of attorney and any other pertinent documents deemed necessary to the individual.
- A will cannot affect anything in a trust – it controls probate assets only.