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What’s a pour-over will?

Do you have a revocable living trust? If you do (or are even considering one), then you need to learn about pour-over wills. 

A pour-over will is a unique part of an estate plan designed to work with a revocable living trust. Here’s what you need to know. 

How does a pour-over will work with a living trust? 

When you create a revocable living trust, you should transfer your property into the trust. When you — the grantor — die, those assets become the trust’s property, and the trust will deal with the assets according to the rules you set. 

But what about the things you have that don’t make it into the trust? You probably won’t stop acquiring assets after you create the trust, and each asset you gain has to be added to the trust. 

It’s not uncommon for people who make these irrevocable trusts to pass away with some of their assets still outside of the trust they created. When a pour-over will is in place, it automatically funnels those assets into the trust so that the trust can then fulfill its purpose. 

Like any will, a pour-over will must pass through probate, but the process is generally abbreviated, which means less expense for your estate and more surety for your heirs. This also helps keep your estate more private. 

Pour-over wills and revocable living trusts are just a few of the estate-planning vehicles open to you. Most people have no idea about all of the options they have. Some experienced guidance can help you find what estate plan works best for your family and your goals.