The complexities of estate planning can sometimes result in mistakes. For example, some people create a trust to provide for their heirs only to forget to fund the trust. If you fail to fund your trust with your assets, it will have nothing to distribute to your beneficiaries. A pour-over will help you avoid this outcome. The good news is that a pour-over will is not a complex document.
Funding your trust
If you fail to transfer ownership of assets such as bank accounts, annuities, or brokerage accounts to a trust, or you do not re-title real property to a trust before you die, your assets may pass to your heirs through your will. If you do not create a will, your property will go through the intestacy (bloodline) process. By using a pour-over will, you can dictate that any personal or real property still owned by you individually at your death, pass (“pour over”) to your trust upon your death.
Specific uses of a pour-over will
You may have special reasons to use a pour-over will. You may want to name someone as an executor for your estate or as a guardian for your children if they are minors at your death. Some people use pour-over wills to pass on items of lesser value to relatives.
You may also have a job that lets you buy and sell assets frequently. Continually updating a trust to reflect ongoing transactions may not be feasible. A pour-over will can distribute those assets into your trust at the time of your death.
A pour-over will can also ensure that the trust beneficiaries receive their distributions in situations where the trust becomes invalid or is unfunded.