Pourover Wills explained

What is a Pourover Will? It is a precautionary Will used to fund assets into your Trust, in case you forget to do so during your life.

Maybe you have heard of a Pourover Will, but do not really know what that means. I have written before about four critical documents in an Estate Plan. There are more pieces, but four seem central.

1. A Trust does a lot of things. It holds assets in a place that you have access during your life. Your Successor Trustee(s) can also access such for your behalf, if you become later in need of assistance. And ultimately, your Trust distributes assets, usually after your death, according to your directions.

2. A Durable Power of Attorney is a way for you to delegate authority for someone to act on your behalf, but not against your competent wishes.

3. A Living Will, if you like, allows you to memorialize your intent. In essence, it says that if you become in a condition that your quality of life may not be restored, and you would be maintained by machines, you would rather not have your life extended in that condition.

4. A Pourover Will is a precautionary document, as described in more detail below.

A Trust controls (and ultimately distributes) only those assets which it owns.

In this way a Trust is fundamentally different that a Will. With a Will, one does not change title to assets during their life. Rather, the probate process is required to move the assets (through inventory, administration and claims) to the beneficiaries.

Again, a Trust controls only those assets it owns. On occasion, people neglect to put a significant asset into their Trust before dying. This is where the Pourover Will steps forward. This type of Will is a precaution, so that if assets were left out of the Trust, this Will can be employed to move the assets into the Trust, so they can be controlled according to the wishes of the decedent.

A Pourover Will goes hand in hand with a Trust.

While one may not intend to leave significant assets out of their Trust, it can happen. If something is first overlooked, the Pourover Will can help.

What is a Pourover Will? It is a precautionary Will used to fund assets into your Trust, in case you forget to do so during your life.

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