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What is a Pour Over Will?

A Pour Over Will is the type of Last Will and Testament that accompanies a Revocable Living Trust.  As wills go, this type of will is relatively simple since most of the complicated details are specified in the Revocable Living Trust.  For the most part, a Pour Over Will only has one beneficiary.  That beneficiary is the Revocable Living Trust which was created at the same time.  Of course, if the Trust has been funded correctly, very little will pass through this will.  The Pour Over Will simply serves as a safety net to capture any assets which have not been transferred to the Trust prior to death.  Also, if minor children are involved, the Pour Over Will can also be used to name potential guardians in the event of the deaths of both parents.

In estate planning, you commonly hear of a last will and testament, or simply a will.  However, there are different kinds of wills.  One of these types of wills is called a pour over will.  A pour over will is important if you are doing a trust-based estate plan.

Many people create a revocable living trust to divide and distribute their assets after they die.  However, even with a revocable living trust, it is still very important to have a last will and testament.  When you have a living trust and a will, the will is often referred to as a pour over will because it’s designed to catch any unfunded property or other assets.  A will is necessary to handle any unfunded property in the trust, but it’s also designed to do several other things.  A will may also outline your final wishes, something you generally do not put into a living trust document.

A pour over will should designate who your executor will be.  This person will be in charge of handing all of your unfunded assets.  The pour over will should also outline exactly what powers this executor will have.

The other very important thing a pour over will does is that it names the guardian of your minor children.  This is most important if you are a single parent or if your spouse is unable to provide the care your children will need.  Remember that anyone you name as a guardian must be at least 18 years old.

A pour over will does not need to say who will inherit your property or how that property will be transferred since all of this should be outlined in your revocable living trust.

Consult an estate attorney for further information.