27 Jan Pour-Over Will: A Safety Net for Those Things You Forgot
This is the time of year when people are most likely to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions, and for many people that means creating a Living Trust. One couple who came in to our Oakland office in early January to create a Living Trust was motivated by the death of a young cousin who died without one, and his grieving family was now going through a particularly unpleasant probate proceeding.
This couple was also young, but they had two young children and assets, including their home in the Oakland hills, a stock portfolio, life insurance policy, college funds for both kids and a few valuable pieces of art and antique furniture which they had inherited.
Funding and updating a Living Trust
This couple understood that all of these investments belonged in their Trust as well as the recording of life events—if they had another child, he/she would need to be added to their list of benefactors. Both partners had good jobs and they were looking at other investment opportunities, including a vacation home, knowing they would need to update their Trust. Yet they still worried that if something happened to them, there would be assets that were not in the Trust, and their children would have to deal with Probate.
A Pour-Over Will–a separate legal document that accompanies a Will or Living Trust
Fortunately, there is a Pour-Over Will that serves as a safety net. It’s a separate legal document that accompanies a Will or Living Trust and transfers any remaining assets or property not previously transferred into the Trust. The Pour-Over Will catches any property/assets that were left out of your Trust at the time of your death, allowing them to “pour over” into the Trust—after your death—and distributed according to the terms of the Trust. This is also an important document that will state your choices for a guardian if there are minor children.
We encourage all couples who have been procrastinating to come in to one of our California Document Preparers offices to create a Living Trust; we always recommend that a Trust includes a Pour-Over Will.