Basics of a Pour-Over Will

last will and testament - pour over will concept

Basics of a Pour-Over Will

Many Californians decide to make trust-based estate plans. Trusts are powerful estate planning tools that offer many benefits, including tax advantages and privacy. However, they do carry certain restrictions. For example, they only control assets that you transfer into the trust.

At your death, property that you did not fund into the trust could end up going to someone that you did not intend. A great solution to this problem is a pour-over will

What is a Pour-Over Will?

A pour-over will is a type of will that works together with a trust. The terms of the will state that all property that passes through your will is transferred into your trust upon your death. Once the assets are in the trust, they will be distributed to your chosen heirs according to the instructions you have already outlined for your trust.

Benefits of Pour-Over Will

The pour-over will act as a safety net for any assets that you did not put in your trust either on purpose or by accident. It is common for individuals to omit property from a trust by mistake.

In California, you can use a pour-over will with both revocable and irrevocable trusts.

If you pass away without a will – which is called intestate -, your property is distributed by California intestate succession laws. If you have set up a trust but not a pour over will, all property that you did not transfer into your trust will be distributed according intestate succession laws are found in sections 6400 through 6455 in the California state probate code.  Unfortunately this distribution will not necessarily reflect your wishes.

Our law firm will make sure we set you up with a Pour-Over Will if you have a trust.

Example of a Pour-Over Will in Carlsbad

Consider the example below to better understand how a pour-over will work in Carlsbad, California.

Mary created a living trust. She took an inventory of her property and transferred all the investments and bank accounts she could think of into her trust. Mary named her husband, Bobby, and her daughter, Sarah, as the beneficiaries of the trust. She named Bobby as the trustee.

Unfortunately, Mary forgot to include a pension plan from a job she held over thirty years ago. Over the years, the pension plan grew into a sizeable asset. But thankfully, Mary also created a pour-over will that stated the remainder of her estate should transfer to her trust at her death.

Therefore, when Mary died, the pension account was transferred to her trust, and Bobby and Sarah inherited her entire estate smoothly and in accordance with her wishes.

Andrew Fesler – Your Carlsbad California Estate Planning Attorney

If you need to add a pour-over will to your estate plan, you should contact our office. As a qualified Carlsbad estate planning lawyer, Andrew Fesler will ensure you are all set with a properly drawn up pour-over will.  He will answer all your questions and help you decide about setting up a trust and the corresponding  pour-over will in your estate plan. You will have a valid pour-over will that follows all of California’s legal requirements.

He can also help you ensure that your trust is properly funded, with named beneficiaries and selected trustee. 

We recommend you review your trust document annually to ensure that any property acquired over the last 12 months has been transferred into the trust.

Contact The Law Office of Andrew Fesler

Our staff are professional and caring. With Andrew Fesler at our helm, we have assisted hundreds of clients with their estate plans, including how to avoid probate and protect assets.   

Contact our office today at (760) 444-0943 for a free consultation.