What is a Pour-Over Will, and Do I Need One?

What is a Pour-Over Will,…

A pour-over will is an estate planning mechanism that typically operates in conjunction with a trust, which is usually a revocable living trust. Essentially, a pour-over will ensures that any assets that you own outside of the trust at the time of your death move into your trust. The trustee then distributes the property according to the guidelines set forth in the trust. A pour-over will essentially ensures that any property left out of your trust, either purposely or inadvertently, still is distributed to the beneficiaries of your trust along with the rest of the property in your trust.

For instance, if you own a piece of real estate at the time of your death, but you did not transfer ownership of it into your trust, that real estate normally would fall outside of your trust, meaning that it would not have the same protections as the rest of your property inside the trust. This is likely to result in probate court proceedings, which are often lengthy and expensive. However, with a pour-over will, the real estate will simply “pour over” into your trust and be distributed with all of your other trust property.

Another benefit of the pour-over will is privacy. Your pour-over will need not state how the property outside of your trust should be distributed. Rather, the property simply goes into your trust, which is a private legal document, and distributes according to the terms of the trust. This allows your property that falls outside the trust to retain the same privacy protection as the property that falls inside the trust.

Our Michigan estate planning attorneys can guide you through every step of creating a comprehensive estate plan for the future to protect yourself and your family. Let us answer your questions about any and all issues related to estate planning, as well as ensure that your current estate plan meets all of your needs. The attorneys at Legacy Law Center have advocated on behalf of many individuals and families throughout the estate planning process. Call our office today and schedule a time to talk with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.

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