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What are pour-over wills?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Estate Planning |

The moment you create a standard will is the moment it can start to go out of date. While it will never actually expire, changes in your life will require changes to your will to ensure that it represents your current reality.

Thankfully, there is a way to address some of your circumstances without making constant updates to your estate plan. A pour-over will is a special kind of will that negates the need to update things every time you acquire a new asset.

First, set up a revocable living trust

Pour-over wills can only feed into a revocable living trust – so you need to be sure this type of trust will work for you. There are certain disadvantages compared to an irrevocable trust. Once you set up the trust, you can move the assets you currently own into it and detail how you want the trustee to handle them when you die. You can retain control over all of these assets during your lifetime.

Next, set up the pour-over

You’ll then create a pour-over will to sweep up any other assets you own upon death. As with a standard will, you should name an executor to implement your wishes. You’ll make it clear they should move anything not already in the trust into it unless you have accounted for the item elsewhere, such as with a beneficiary designation. It can make things much simpler for your executor and your loved ones as all (or most) of your things are in one place.

Estate planning can seem complex if you have never done it before, but with appropriate guidance, you can create a plan that best serves you and your family.