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What Is a Pour-Over Will?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is critical for everyone. It does more than just distribute your assets following your death. It can also include information regarding burial or cremation and other relevant decisions that surviving family or a personal representative should make.

A pour-over will is a provision added to a person’s will that can protect certain assets. If you choose to include this provision, the remaining assets you own that haven’t been passed down to a beneficiary or placed in trust while you were still alive will go into trust automatically.

What Is a Pour-Over Will?

When you create an estate plan, you typically draft a will. It determines who your property goes to after you die. A pour-over will indicates you would like some or all of your property to go to a trust instead of your beneficiaries or heirs.

The trust you establish to receive your property can be one that you create when you draft your will or one that already exists. Adding a pour-over provision to your estate planning can ensure the property you have not already placed in trust will end up there once you pass away.

This type of will can be beneficial, so smaller assets or ones you haven’t already placed in trust don’t go to waste. Additionally, you can choose a trustee to maintain your property and even save on taxes by choosing a pour-over will.

How Pour-Over Wills Work

The trust you set up will automatically receive specified assets when you pass away, including residual property after everything else has been distributed. You can appoint a trustee to manage your trust and ensure everything gets distributed according to the terms of your pour-over will.

It’s crucial to state that you want them to be the trustee instead of simply naming them in the will. If you only mention them by name but don’t give them the title of a trustee, they could inherit your residual property and use it for personal reasons.

You should also name an executor of your will. This is someone who takes on the responsibility of carrying out your final wishes. They can be the same person you appoint as trustee.

Certain assets aren’t allowed to transfer to trust when you have a pour-over will. These assets include:

  • Property in a different trust
  • Jointly-owned property if the other owner survives the person creating the pour-over will
  • Retirement accounts, such as 401Ks and IRAs

The document must also contain language stating that your property should go into the trust you set up or already established when drafting the will. If you don’t mention this, surviving family will likely have to go to court to determine who will receive those assets.

How Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP Could Help

At Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP, our Council Bluffs estate planning attorneys understand the importance of proper estate planning. You want your assets to remain protected after you die. Establishing a pour-over will could provide the necessary safety net.

When you hire us, we can guide you through the complex process of setting up a trust and drafting a solid pour-over will. This is something you should complete with the help of an experienced legal team. If you create one yourself, your surviving family could face challenges while settling your estate. We will take on the legal responsibility, so you have peace of mind knowing your property will go to the right place when you pass away.

If you want to create a pour-over will, contact Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP immediately. We can review your assets and prepare the documents, so nothing gets forgotten when you’re gone. Contact us right now for a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable and trusted estate planning attorney in Council Bluffs.