A Pour-Over Will is a type of will used in conjunction with a Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust is used to describe a Trust with certain characteristics—the most obvious being that it's revocable—meaning that the person who established the Trust can change their mind at any time and undo it completely. A Revocable Living Trust can own assets and dictate what happens to them upon your death without going to probate

Living will

However, if you have a Revocable Living Trust but have assets that have not been "funded" into your Trust, then those assets would go through probate. For any assets that may have to go through probate, the Pour-Over-Will tells the court that you want those assets to go to your Trust. When the assets go to your Trust, they will be distributed based on the parameters you set in your Trust document. 

Why Do I Need To Fund My Trust If I Have A Pour-Over Will?

Unlike a Last Will and Testament, a Pour-Over Will is not a stand-alone document. Without a Trust in place, the Pour-Over Will serves no purpose. A well-functioning estate plan would not need to utilize the Pour-Over Will much at all. The Pour-Over Will may catch a few odds and ends, like one car and one rarely-used bank account, but we do not want your Pour-Over Will to serve as your primary estate planning document. When you have to use the Pour-Over Will to move many of your assets into your Trust, you have lost out on the benefit of avoiding probate and keeping your assets private that your Trust provides. 

Want To Learn More About Wills & Trusts?

Feeling overwhelmed trying to sort out your options? Many of our clients have told us they had that exact feeling when they first began planning, but with our help, we helped them make sense of the options and design a plan to fit their goals. We've empowered thousands of Wake County-area residents to take control of their future with their estate planning and long-term care planning solutions.

To get started, register for one of our upcoming seminars, download our free guide, Estate Planning Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them: Protecting Your Legacy, Lifestyle, and Beneficiaries, or call us at 919-899-2606 to schedule a free case assessment.

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