Why You Need a Pour-Over Will to Secure Your Legacy

October 16, 2023

Estate planning is a necessary tool to secure your assets, shape the future of your family, and protect your legacy. However, life has a way of throwing curveballs and even meticulously-crafted plans sometimes fall short.

That’s where a pour-over will becomes an invaluable tool in ensuring that your legacy and assets remain protected when you’re unable to take care of them yourself. So, what is a pour-over will and how does it close gaps in your estate plan?

Building a More Comprehensive Plan

It’s not uncommon for people to pass away without fully securing all of their assets in their estate plans. This leaves loved ones to deal with the aftermath, but a pour-over will gives you the opportunity to cover those bases and ensure your family isn’t left with a massive headache to sift through.

A pour-over will is designed to complement your existing estate plan by acting as a safety net for any assets that may have been inadvertently omitted. It works in tandem with a living trust, ensuring that any assets not explicitly transferred to the trust during your lifetime will be automatically moved into the trust upon your death. This means that even if you forget to update your estate plan or acquire new assets late in life, your pour-over will steps in to protect your legacy.

While it’s always best to be as thorough as possible in your estate planning, a pour-over will offers you peace of mind, knowing that your legacy remains intact.

Avoiding the Probate Process

One of the primary advantages of a pour-over will is its ability to bypass the probate process for assets not initially placed into the living trust. Probate can be a time-consuming and expensive legal process that can delay the distribution of assets to your heirs. However, assets transferred through a pour-over will, while still subject to probate approval, are not entirely exposed to the probate process.

All trusts, even revocable ones, become irrevocable in relation to the decedent at the time of death, but a pour-over will retains flexibility. This means that even after your passing, your assets can be managed and distributed according to your wishes without the burden of probate court proceedings.

A Pour-Over Will is the Ideal Backup Plan

While a pour-over will serves as an ideal backup plan for securing overlooked or newly acquired assets, it’s essential to understand that it doesn’t replace the need for a comprehensive estate plan. Instead, it complements your existing strategy, ensuring that no assets slip through the cracks.

To create the most robust and foolproof estate plan, contact the team here at Schlegel Livingston. Our team of attorneys can help you identify potential gaps in your plan and craft a customized strategy that safeguards your assets and minimizes headaches for your loved ones in the event of your passing.