Wills and trusts are two of the main estate planning tools used by California residents. A pour-over will acts as a kind of safety net for when a person dies without transferring all property into a trust.
How does a pour-over will work and do you need one?
How a pour-over will works
The primary purpose of a pour-over will is to direct property into a trust when you die. This type of will can be used to transfer assets into an existing trust or into a trust that will be created when you die. The document must specifically state which assets you want to move into the trust.
Benefits of a pour-over will
The main benefit of a pour-over will is that it allows your assets to be managed by a trustee who will distribute them based on the terms of the trust. Pour-over wills are a useful tool for people who frequently buy and sell assets and may not have time to place into or remove assets from a trust. Pour-over wills serve the same functions as other types of wills, so you can still use this type of will to distribute specific property outside of your trust and establish a guardian for any minor children you have.
When choosing whether to use a pour-over will keep in mind that the assets not yet transferred into a trust will still be subject to probate. Researching the disadvantages and advantages of wills and trusts is an important part of your estate planning process.