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What should I know about pour over wills?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Creating a trust to convey your assets to your beneficiaries is often not the end of the process. As time goes on, you may acquire more assets that you want placed into the trust. However, an unexpected event may cause your incapacitation or death, preventing you from updating your trust. This is where a pour over will may assist you. 

Many people use pour over wills along with their trusts. According to Policy Genius, a pour over will places your remaining assets into your trust after your death. In addition, these types of wills have other uses which you may find helpful for your estate plans. 

Avoiding intestacy 

If you do not place your assets in your trust or describe their fate in a traditional will, the state will disperse them according to intestacy law. This means your non-trust assets may go to a relative that you do not have a close relationship with and do not want to inherit from you. Specifying your wishes in a pour over will may avoid this. If you have no living heirs, you may decide to let a charity or institution receive your assets if you wish. 

Naming guardians and executors 

Even though you may feel at ease with your assets in your trust, a will can handle additional inheritance tasks that a trust is not capable of performing. You can use the occasion of your pour over will to designate a guardian for your children if they are still minors. Also, you may name a person to serve as executor of your estate in your pour over will. 

Dispersing certain assets 

You do not have to use your pour over will to put all of your remaining assets into your trust. You can instead specify that certain assets go directly to your heirs. For instance, you may decide that your most valuable assets can go into your trust but that your lesser valued assets pass directly to your children. With a residuary clause, you may pass everything that remains in your estate to your heirs.