Do You Need a Pour-Over Will with a Trust?

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedOct 12, 2020
2 minute read

When someone dies, all of his or her property may not automatically go to their trust. Some of the assets may still have to go through probate. If you are wanting to avoid probate, a pour-over will may be right for you.

Estate Planning Attorney Bill Henry briefly explains what a pour-over will is and how it could be beneficial to you.

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Today, we’re talking about pour-over wills. You might have heard that, if you’ve been surfing the web looking for information on wills. Well, the question is when do you need a pour-over will?

What is a Pour-Over Will?

Let’s talk about what it is first. So, a pour-over will just says that I want any property that I own to go this particular place, which is normally a trust. So, we’re going to pour over all of our assets into a trust. A pour-over will is very commonly used whenever we do a trust-based plan.

Let me give you an example to make it a little more concrete. So let’s say I create a living trust, that’s a trust that I create during life. We could think of a trust, like a bucket and I have this trust and I put all my assets inside of it. So, I’ll say I put my house inside of this trust, meaning that I changed the title from my name, into the name of the trust.

So I do that, but now fast-forward a number of years and let’s say I buy a vacation home in Florida and I forget to transfer the title into the name of the trust, then I die. Well, what happens? Well, the one house, my Colorado house is in the trust. No probate on that house, but the other house in Florida, it’s not in the trust.

So it doesn’t just automatically go into the trust because I have a trust. It’s got to get there through some way. That is what the pour-over will is for. A pour-over will is, literally, a will that just says, take all of my assets and put them into my trust. It’s like a catchall we can think about it.

So yes, I do want to fund my trust during life because I’m trying to avoid probate in most cases. But if I miss anything or I didn’t realize I had an asset that I did have, then I want my personal representative, that’s the person in charge of my will after I die, to take all my assets that aren’t in the trust and then to put them into the trust.

Then the trustee, that’s the person in charge of the trust, just follows my instructions in the trust.

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If you’ve got any questions on pour-over wills in Colorado, feel free to set up an assessment by calling 303-688-0944 or clicking here to schedule online.

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