A pour-over will is an estate planning tool that many people have heard about, and one that many people choose to include in their Florida estate plan. But what is a pour-over will? What does it do? How is it different than a regular last will and testament, and do you need to include one in your estate plan?
To better explain these common estate planning tools, today we are going to take a closer look at pour-over wills, what they do, and why you might want one in your plan. As always, it’s vital that you first speak to your estate planning attorney if you need personalized advice or guidance, but until then, here is what you should know about poor over wills.
A last will and testament, usually referred to as simply just a will, is one of most important estate planning tools around today. Wills typically serve as the keystone of any comprehensive estate plan, regardless of what other tools you choose to include. Whether you are young, old, healthy, wealthy, or wise, your Florida estate plan will almost never be complete until it includes a last will and testament.
Even though we have discussed wills in depth many times before, they allow you to make inheritance choices, choose a guardian for young child, appoint an executor of your estate, and make other essential estate planning decisions.
Another common estate planning tool we have talked about repeatedly in the past is the revocable living trust, or simply, the living trust. Living trusts also allow you to make inheritance choices, but allow you to do so while bypassing the probate process. Any inheritance decisions you make through a will must first go through probate, while those you make with living trust do not. Because of this probate avoidance benefit, many people look to living trusts as their primary inheritance vehicle.
If a living trust allows you to make inheritance choices, do you still need a will? Even if we ignore all the other benefits that will provides, your estate plan will still likely include a last will and testament even if you rely on a living trust for your heritage choices. This is because you can use your will in coordination with your living trust to transfer almost all of your property through that trust. You do this by creating a pour-over will.
A pour-over will simply a will that is designed to take the property that you forgot to include in your living trust and transfer it into the trust’s name after you die. Hence it “pours over” your remaining property into the trust. This way, the pour-over will and the living trust are designed to work hand-in-hand to protect your inheritance decisions.