Pour-over Wills

"If I have a trust do I need a will?"

The answer is not absolutely, but if you understand that the trust will only distribute property actually and effectively transferred into the trust, you can understand the need for a will. A will would distribute everything in your estate that has not been transferred at your death. If this is a large amount of property, your heirs may be forced to open a Probate Court proceeding, despite your intention to dispose of your property by your trust and avoid probate.

For this reason a "Pour-over Will" is often drafted by Trustors forming a trust. This will provides that any property not in the trust should be transferred to the trust on your death and distributed in accordance with its terms. Whether this is effective to avoid probate depends upon your state law, and this area should be thoroughly researched before you can act with certainty. To making sure that your Trust complies with the laws of your state and performs in accordance with your wishes, contact member services to be paired with an attorney.

Posted in: Estate Planning