As part of your estate plan, you may decide to establish a trust in order to pass some or all of your personal assets to your loved ones once you pass. But a trust only covers what you actually transfer into it… If you forget to include anything or purposely leave items out, a pour-over will can come in handy.

A pour over will contains a provision that allows the will to “pour over” any residual assets left outside the trust (called probate assets) into an individual’s trust upon their passing. This type of arrangement acts as a catch-all in the event there are assets which are not owned by the trust at time of death. This allows these assets to avoid the intestate rules even though they were not specifically part of the trust estate.

Creating the pour over will typically occurs in tandem with the creation of your revocable trust. Creating a trust will involve many decisions like what type of trust works for your needs, what assets will be transferred, and who should receive these assets. One of the most important decisions is who you will name as trustee as that person will manage and distribute the trust’s assets once you pass.

After the trust has been created, you can begin to lay out the terms of your pour over will. This document is no different than a last will and testament, as it is, in fact, a last will and testament.

The difference between a pour over will and any other last will and testament is when you name your beneficiary. In the case of a pour over will, the beneficiary named will be your trust. This is that catch-all caveat, as by naming the trust as the beneficiary, all assets that may have been forgotten about will transfer over to your trust to be distributed pursuant to the trust’s terms.

If you determine as part of your estate plan to create a trust, it is imperative that you also have a will. You can never be too sure that all your assets made it into the trust, and the pour-over will can protect your last wishes after you pass to ensure your intent is carried out.

Get Started On Your Estate Plan Today

Want to learn more about pour over wills? Take a listen to one of our latest podcasts on the subject.

If you have any questions about talking to your family about estate plans, the attorneys at Caress Law are here to help. To learn more, do not hesitate to give us a call at (503) 292-8990 or fill out the contact form below.

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