If you establish a Living Trust you will probably need a Pour Over Will. This may be confusing to a lot of people because of the fact that the main reason to establish a Living Trust is to avoid the probate process, but often this specific type of will is needed.
Basically, a Pour Over Will is a way to catch any property that might not be covered by the Living Trust. If everything that you own is included in the Living Trust then there is no need to have this type of will, but there is always the chance that you might miss something, which is not all that uncommon.
For example, a Pour Over Will might be necessary if you were to refinance your house. In most cases the lender will require that you take the home out of the trust before they will refinance. If you forget to return the home to the trust and something happens to you, the trust will not cover the property without a Pour Over Will. In this situation the court will decide who gets this property and there is the chance that it may not be those that you named as beneficiaries in your trust.
If you have a Pour Over Will, any assets that you own at the time of death will be transferred to the trust and distributed as you have designated with the trust. Although these assets will still have to go through probate, they will go into the trust and not be distributed to those that are not named in the trust.
The Pour Over Will is the only way that you can be sure that all of your assets go where you want them to go; even if you think you are very thorough with funding your trust, there is the chance that you will miss something.
Estate planning can be a complex process and this is the reason why it is important to retain the services of an experienced estate-planning attorney. There are so many variables when it comes to estates that it is easy to miss something, and all of your careful planning could end up being for nothing.
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