At The Law Offices of Richard Wingerden, we help clients start an estate plan and also keep it updated as their needs and wishes change over time. We know how important it is that all the elements of your estate plan work together to accomplish your overall long-term goals.

FindLaw explains that while your Last Will and Testament generally serves as the foundation of your estate planning documents, your pour-over will may also become your catch-all document. How so? It instructs your executor to collect all the assets you own at your death and pour them over into your living trust.

The advantages of pour-over wills

After death, your estate may likely go through the probate process. The assets in your trust, however, do not. So while your executor may need to go through probate to distribute your estate, the main advantage of your pour-over will is that once your executor collects all your non-trust assets together, pays your bills and pours everything that remains into your trust per your will’s instructions, they can more quickly and easily close your probate estate. This should save both time and expense in distributing the trust assets to your heirs and beneficiaries.

Your pour-over will also gives you the following advantages:

  • You can stop worrying that you inadvertently neglected to add newly-acquired assets to your trust.
  • You no longer need to continually update your estate plan when you acquire new assets.
  • You have peace of mind knowing that your will and trust work together to accomplish your estate planning goals.
  • You also have peace of mind knowing that all of the financial provisions and transactions specified in your living trust will remain private and not open to public scrutiny

To ensure that your pour-over will and your living trust do indeed work together when the time comes, you should make sure that each document mentions the other and that no language in either document conflicts with language in the other.