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Combining a pour-over will with a living trust

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | wills and trusts | 0 comments

California residents who are creating an estate plan might want to consider combining a living trust with a pour-over will. There are several advantages to using these two tools as part of your legacy.

What is a living trust?

As with a will, you can use a living trust to specify who gets your assets. Unlike a will, a living trust does not have to go through probate. Assets that you place in the trust pass directly to your beneficiaries. This also means that your estate plan remains private. You can make changes to a living or revocable trust throughout your life, which is not the case with an irrevocable trust.

What is a pour-over will?

A pour-over will moves remaining assets into your living trust at the time of your death. It is not an uncommon problem for a person to create a trust and forget to fund it, but even if that does not happen, it is easy to forget to include certain assets in your trust. Using a pour-over will is a way to be sure that all of your assets will be included. Assets added at death may have to pass through probate, so they might not go directly to your beneficiaries the way that the things you placed in your trust while you were still alive do. However, the pour-over will can still help simplify the process of dividing your estate. In addition, using a pour-over will gives you the option of appointing a guardian for children under 18.

A trust can give you more control over how and when assets are distributed to beneficiaries than a traditional last will and testament. Combining a living trust with a pour-over will can help ensure that your plans will not be derailed if there are forgotten or overlooked assets.