Creating a Will
A traditional will identifies assets, names beneficiaries and appoints an executor, but when we create the trust, these traditional features are supplanted by the trust.
A pour-over will catches those items that did not make it into the living trust
A pour-over will works in conjunction with a living trust and covers assets that the grantor had not put into a trust—whether by accident or on purpose—by the time of death. It acts as a safety net. The pour-over-will’s only beneficiary is the trust itself, “pouring over” into the trust the forgotten or omitted items.
Choosing a guardian for children under age 18
Another key role of the will is providing the ability to choose a guardian for those who have underage children. If something happens to you, your child’s other parent will generally become the sole legal guardian. But if both parents die at the same time, the will becomes the document that will appoint a guardian for the children.
If you do not leave instructions in the form of a will, the court will not have any guidance from you, the parents of the children, and will therefore choose the guardian.
It can be reassuring to know that in the case of this unlikely eventuality, your children will be properly cared for by someone you love and trust. It’s important to have a discussion with the person(s) you are naming as guardian, as this is a significant responsibility. It is not unusual to leave money in your will to offset the care for your children.