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My Estate Plan… What Is a Pour Over Will? How Does It Affect My Trust?

What is a Pour-Over Will? How does it affect my Trust?

The Revocable Living Trust is a powerful tool used to avoid probate. Probate is the process in which the terms of your Will are administered.  Probate occurs through the court and is a matter of public record. The Revocable Living Trust saves time in distributing your assets after you have passed. The efficiency realized from a Trust is due to there being no court involvement since the Trust is not subject to probate. The Trustee is in control of distribution and this occurs outside of the court.  A Trust can therefore save your estate a significant amount of money and privacy.

A Pour-Over Will is used in conjunction with the Revocable Living Trust. It is very important to have a Trust and a Will! The Pour-Over Will is a unique type of Will.  Assets that are not held in Trust will be subject to Probate.  Upon your passing, The Pour-Over Will is designed to distribute assets subject to probate into the Revocable Living Trust. The Executor, or Administrator, is the person named in the Will to carry out the provisions of the Will.  Thus, it is the Executor's job to transfer the assets to the Revocable Living Trust.  The Trustee then manages the assets according to the terms of the Trust. 

The Revocable Living Trust will not hold all of a person's assets while living. This would be unusual and impractical.  The Pour-Over Will is a comprehensive mechanism acting to ensure all assets are eventually held in trust. 

Although there are two documents, the estate plan is still controlled by the Revocable Living Trust. The Pour-Over Will effectively acts as a safety net, ensuring assets not otherwise distributed via the Revocable Living Trust are “poured into” the Revocable Living Trust and then managed accordingly!

Providence Law is an Estate Planning & Probate law firm in Charlotte, NC. Providence Law also serves clients in the areas of Small Business & Franchise and Real Estate law.  

To set up a consultation with an attorney from Providence Law to discuss your estate plan, contact us online or by phone at (704) 703-2910.

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