How Does a Pour-Over Will Work?

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You may have heard that a pour-over will serves as an extra safety net in your estate plan. But you may still be unclear as to why this is. Rest assured, a proficient Putnam County will attorney has the answers to all your questions. Follow along to find out how a pour-over will works and how one of the attorneys at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can explain to you its distinction from a standard will.

What is an example of how a pour-over will works?

As an example, say that you own a car that has been, mistakenly or intentionally, left out of your estate planning documents. If you have a valid and enforceable pour-over will in place, then you may expect the following sequence of events to occur upon your passing:

  1. Your car may automatically transfer into your preexisting living trust.
  2. Your car may go through the New York State probate court.
  3. Your named trustee may retain your car while reviewing the terms of your trust.
  4. Your name trustee may distribute your car to your name beneficiary, in the manner directed by the terms of your trust.

The transfer of your assets into a trust and then into the hands of your desired beneficiaries may not move as quickly as simply adding them to a trust in the first place. But, you may find it to be cheaper to include them in a will rather than in a trust.

Or, you may have forgotten to incorporate these assets into your estate plan altogether. But a pour-over will still allows you to avoid New York State’s intercession succession laws and other legal issues that may arise with your preexisting living trust. This is why the reputation as a “safety net” stands true.

How is this different from a standard will?

In its simplest form, a standard will is intended to record the entirety of your estate and your intentions for how to distribute each individual asset. Along the way, it may also disclose how you wish your loved ones to handle your affairs upon your passing (i.e., funeral proceedings, burial arrangements, etc).

On the other hand, a pour-over will is meant to cover the assets excluded from your standard will, along with your instructions for handling them. What’s more, a pour-over will works in conjunction with a living trust, while a standard will can stand on its own.

You must make a valiant effort toward establishing your pour-over will, along with the living trust that is intrinsically tied to it. Reach out to a talented Putnam County estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC to learn how to get started on your plan.

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