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A Pour-Over Will Is Needed With a Trust

A Pour-Over Will Is Needed With a Trust
Upon your death, assets held in the living trust can transfer using the trust administration process. Assets held outside of the trust, on the other hand, would need to be addressed in some other way.

Most people believe that if you have a revocable trust, you have no need for a will as well. According to Caroline Daiker Stolzer of Beck, Lenox and Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, many are surprised to learn that a “pour-over” will is needed with a trust. To explain a revocable or living trust, as well as explain a pour over will, we offer this article “What Is A Pour Over Will?” from Forbes.

When you die, assets held in the living trust are transferred using the trust administration process. Assets held (owned) outside the trust must be addressed differently. This usually means going through probate.

If you have no will, your state’s intestacy laws will apply. These laws would distribute your assets to family members based on their relationship to you—kinship. This may not be what you wanted, especially if a family member is estranged from you. However, it won’t matter, and other family members will have to live with the court’s decision.

However, you can use a pour-over will to “pour over” any assets not in the trust at the time of your death into the trust after your passing. This ensures that the assets will be transferred through the trust administration as well.

When the living trust is established, assets must be retitled so the trust becomes the legal owner. But you might not do this with everything you own, or you may acquire assets after the trust is created and die before you can transfer them. You might simply forget some assets.

As you create a trust for the specific reason to facilitate effective management and transfer of property through the trust administration process, it makes sense to have all your property moved into that trust upon your passing.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help create the living trust and coordinate it with your will and instructions for all assets not otherwise accounted for to pass into the trust upon your death. You’ll need to work with an estate planning attorney to be sure the trust, will, and other estate planning documents comply with your state’s laws.

An estate planning attorney can help you understand other options for transferring assets and provision for loved ones. The pour-over will is one of many estate planning tools available to use with a trust that can protect your loved ones. Beck, Lenox and Stolzer is happy to help you with your estate planning. We offer a free phone consultation that can be scheduled here.

Reference: Forbes (Jan. 29, 2024) “What Is A Pour Over Will?”

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