What is a Pour Over Will?
Even if you have a trust, you should also have a will. Generally, when you have a trust in place you also have an accompanying pour over will. A pour over will directs that all of the testator’s (person writing the will) assets be transferred to a trust at death. Pour over wills are used for all kinds of reasons, sometimes assets will be intentionally left outside of a trust so the trust can be funded by the pour over will at death. However, pour over wills are often used as insurance.
The most important part of a trust is properly funding a trust. Put more simply, you need to make sure all of your stuff is in the trust. For example, if you own a home there needs to be a deed placing the house into the trust. What happens when something gets left outside your trust? That is where a pour over will comes into play. It can act as a safety net to make sure that ultimately all of your assets end up in the trust. However, this generally requires probate. Avoiding probate is a common reason why people choose trusts.
If an individual has a trust, but not a pour over will, it is possible their assets can be distributed in a way they did not intend. A pour over will is great insurance, but nothing beats making sure your trust is funded properly!