Will your estate plan need to include a pour-over will?

When you created your trust, you likely transferred most of your assets to its ownership. This might have been a painstaking process, and whether on purpose or by mistake, you might have left property out of it. While it may not make sense to add these assets to your trust, you will not want to omit them from your estate plan altogether. As a precaution, you may want to create a pour-over will, which will prevent the assets outside your trust from disbursing based on Nevada’s intestate succession laws.

What pour-over wills accomplish

A pour-over will is a last will and testament that names your trust as the beneficiary to any assets left out of it. Like the assets in any will, those in your pour-over must pass through probate court before your trust takes ownership of them. Once this transfer happens, your assets can disburse to your beneficiaries in the manner decreed in your trust.

Without a pour-over will, the assets outside your trust would disburse following Nevada’s intestate succession laws, which give you no control over who receives them. Under these laws, your assets will pass to your closest next of kin, and it is possible you may have a fractured relationship with this person. By drafting a pour-over will, you can make sure the beneficiaries of your trust receive them instead.

What pour-over wills are not substitutes for

Having a pour-over will is not a substitute for funding your trust. Rather, it will act as a safeguard if you have left property out of your trust. Since pour-over wills pass through probate court, you will still want to transfer as much of your property as possible to your trust’s ownership to preserve its value. You will want to review your trust at least once a year, then, to make sure it continually reflects the composition of your assets.

A pour-over will can act as a precautionary tool that ensures your assets end up where you want them to go. To make sure the terms of yours are accurate and sound, a legal professional can help you draft or review it.

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