If you have started to think about your future and your family’s future, you have doubtless started to give serious thought to your estate plan. Estate planning can help provide security and certainty to your family after you are gone. Every estate plan will be different, as every family and its goals are different. Accordingly, there are a wide variety of documents you can use to make sure you achieve your goals. One option that can help you provide confidence for your family is a pour-over will.
Like any other type of will, a pour-over will generally works to pour the assets into the trust, if they were not so titled. However, unlike an ordinary will, a pour-over will works in conjunction with a revocable, or “living,” trust. In this type of estate plan, you will have already established a living trust before your death. The living trust will name trustees and beneficiaries, provide specific instructions as to how your beneficiaries will receive the assets from your estate, and dictate how the trustee should administer and distribute those assets. Once you pass away, your revocable trust will automatically convert into an irrevocable trust. If you also have a pour-over will, the will transfers all your remaining assets immediate to the trust at the time of your death. The assets will then be distributed according to the provisions contained in your trust documents.
If you change a pour over will to a regular will, you prevent the assets that are left our of the trust from flowing back to the trust.
Wills are public documents, so anyone can read your will and see which family member inherited which assets when you die. Trusts, however, are not public documents, so distributing your assets through a trust provide a high degree of privacy. In addition, transferring all assets to the trust means that just one document will govern the distribution of assets, simplifying the process and reducing the risk of conflicts.
Do you need help with a trust or a will? Calling our experienced lawyer can ease your when you choose the right estate planning document to suit their needs. Call us at 818.340.4479 today to talk about your estate and your goals.