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Reasons to have a pour-over will

Some Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan might also want to consider a pour-over will. A pour-over will is used in conjunction with a trust and ensures that any assets not specifically placed in the trust will be added to it when the owner dies.

In essence, with a pour-over will, the revocable living trust becomes the beneficiary. However, it will not place property in the trust that is designated to go to others, such as assets that have a beneficiary designation. This might include some retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

While property placed in a living trust does not have to go through probate, this is not the case for assets governed by a pour-over will. However, this may still be better than the alternative. Assets that are not placed in the trust, governed by a will or passed on using a beneficiary designation or other means will be distributed according to state law. This could result in assets going to relatives that a person is estranged from, or at least to relatives that would not have been that person's choice.

A pour-over will is best regarded as a safety net rather than a solution. Trusts should be reviewed annually to make sure no additional property needs to be added or any other changes should be made.

A person who is creating an estate plan might want to talk to an attorney about how trusts might be useful. Some people may think of trusts as primarily for wealthy people, and while they can be vehicles for reducing tax and preserving wealth, they can be used in a number of other ways as well. For example, a special needs trust can help a loved one who receives government benefits without forcing that person to forfeit the assistance.

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