Pour-over wills are generally used in conjunction with a living trust, and provide for certain assets not yet in the trust at the time the settlor dies to be moved from the will into the trust. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a pour-over will, and you should consult with a College Station living trust attorney to discuss what is best for your needs.
Why Living Trusts Are Used
Assets that are held in trust are not subject to probate, and thus can be made available for distribution by the successor trustee within a few weeks. On the other hand, assets named in a will do generally go through probate. Given the length of time one may have to wait for probate to close, this can mean a significant delay in distributing assets in the trust (if a pour-over will is associated with a trust, the assets must be “poured into” the trust before distribution can take place).
A College Station living trust attorney can tell you that despite this very distinct disadvantage, pour-over wills can be very useful in certain cases. One such advantage is that a settlor may not have an opportunity to transfer all assets into the trust before his death. The pour-over will, then, provides a way of making sure that any such left over assets are moved into the trust.
Another advantage of living trusts is privacy. To wit, any asset that remains in the will becomes public record, while that which is held in trust is not. This can prove very useful to celebrities, but also to prevent squabbling among would-be beneficiaries who otherwise might challenge the will.
The Role of the Executor
The executor of a pour-over will is so named within the will, and is responsible for actually moving the assets into the trust. This contrasts with the usual duties of an executor, which entail payment of taxes and creditors, and distribution of assets to beneficiaries. When the assets become part of the trust the role of the executor is over, for the successor trustee is in charge of those assets in the trust.
If You Have Questions
If you would like more information about pour-over wills, or need legal assistance with estate planning, call a College Station living trust attorney who has the experience and knowledge to provide you with quality assistance. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014.