Have you considered the benefits of creating a will? Have you also looked into a revocable living trust as a means of avoiding probate? If so, there’s a good chance you know a thing or two about a pour over will.
In short, this type of will can be used alongside a living trust. With this type of arrangement, property that passes through the will upon your death is transferred into a trust. From that point, it is then distributed to the trust beneficiaries you have named.
Many people look at a pour over will and wonder how it could make sense for them. And here is the reason why: they believe it’s best to simply use a trust from the get-go. While this is an idea, it’s not the only one to consider.
There are benefits of using a pour over will, including the following:
- Simplicity. Since you are controlling everything with a trust document, you can make simple and easy decisions as to who receives what upon your death. Not only does this make life easier on you, but it does the same for your trustee.
- To ensure that everything is taken care of. Since you won’t transfer all your assets into a living trust, you can rely on a pour over will to handle any assets that are not transferred.
- Privacy. Another big benefit of a pour over will, trusts, unlike wills, do not become public record after you pass on. This means that who you leave your property to is kept private, which may be important to you.
Are there Disadvantages?
Despite the many benefits of a pour over will, you need to realize that this is not the right choice for everyone. You may understand the advantages, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the downside.
The primary disadvantage of a pour over will is this: any property that passes through the will is subject to probate. For this reason, it’s the same as a traditional will. Taking this one step further, any property that is set to be transferred into the trust could get caught up along the way, as the probate process has the potential to drag on.
In the end, it is possible that the living trust could be delayed for many months after your death. This is in contrast to a living trust in which property is typically distributed within a few weeks of your passing.
Address these Questions
If you are interested in a pour over will, if you feel that this could be best for your estate planning strategy, you should learn more about what it can do for you and your family. This often means answering a variety of questions, some of which include:
- What are the pros and cons of a pour over will as compared to a more traditional estate planning approach?
- When does it make the most sense to consider creating a pour over will?
- How long does it take for a pour over will to be created and put into place?
- Are there any reasons to avoid this type of estate planning document?
- How much does it cost to create a pour over will?
All of these questions are important to ask, as each one will point you in one direction or the other.
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