What Is a Pour-Over Will?

A confused womanPlanning for the future is an essential step to make sure that we protect the security for our friends and loved ones.  Crafting a tailor-made estate plan that takes careful consideration of all your assets, debts, and beneficiaries is the best way to make sure this happens.  Estate planning has a dizzying variety of instruments and tools available to make sure that your estate plan fits your needs and helps achieve your goals.  In addition, making sure that your estate plan stays up-to-date is also essential in making sure your estate plan actually helps solidify the security of your intended beneficiaries.  A pour-over will can help you with your estate plan even when you have not had the chance to keep it meticulously updated.

A pour-over will is an instrument that is used in combination with certain types of trusts.  In most Wills, the instrument specifically directs that assets are to be distributed directly to individuals.  In contrast, a pour-over Will is used to distribute assets to your trust, where those assets will then be managed in conjunction with the other assets already contained in the trust.  A pour-over will is helpful to make sure that any assets contained in your estate that had not already been transferred to a trust will be placed there at the time of your death.  The pour-over will names your trust as the beneficiary of your estate instead of your individual beneficiaries.  One disadvantage to using a pour-over will instead of simply transferring your assets timely into a trust before your death is that the assets will all have to pass through probate before being transferred to the trust.  If the assets had already been transferred to the trust before your death or through other certain types of trust instruments, then the assets could have avoided probate entirely.  If you do not use a pour-over will but you do have a trust or even multiple trusts set up, your assets not mentioned in your last will and testament will not be transferred to your trusts for your beneficiaries to use.  Instead, they will either be distributed according to the interpretation of the Will you do leave, or they will be distributed according to Minnesota laws of intestacy.

If you have estate planning questions, let us answer them for you. Contact us today at (651) 371-9117 to talk about your estate planning goals.