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Pour Over Will

The second most important component a proper Estate Plan is a Pour Over Will

What is a Pour Over Will?

The second most important component a proper Estate Plan is a Pour Over WillThe second most important component of a proper Estate Plan is the drafting of a Pour Over Will. Essentially this powerful intrument acts as a safety net for assets not legally in a Trust, will name the Guardians for children, and avoids Probate over “loose ends” overlooked or simply left-out of one’s Revocable Living Trust.

For typical Estate Plans, a pour-over Will will work hand-in-hand with a Revocable Trust —often referred to as a “Living Trust” or a “Living Revocable Trust.” the living trust. For sake of discussion, a Pour-Over Will can be considered an integral part of a Living Trust for a competently-drafted estate planing process. Legally-speaking it is a Will governed by the California Probate Code and not a Trust however.

If a person has a Living Trust Drafted – Why a Pour Over Will

Many clients new to estate planning are confused as to why it is recommended that a Will is part of their Trust. The discussion goes something like this: “My CPA recommended that I get a Trust, so why do I need a Will too?” There are two simple, but powerful purposes that for drafting a companion Pour-Over Will that mission critical to an effecting and protective Living Revocable Trust:

1- A Pour-Over Will acts as a safety net. —When you create a Living Trust, the client is generally expected to transfer his or her assets into the Trust which is referred to as “funding” the new Trust. That means that your current assets (home, cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, coin collections, jewelry, etc.) should be Titled in the name of the Trust. For example, your checking account that used to be Titled: “George and Sherri Williams” will be re-titled: “The George and Sherri Williams Living Trust.” It is possible, if not expected, that at the time of one’s death, that a few assets were left “outside of the trust” as the assets were never properly “funded” or re-titled, or that newly acquired assets were overlooked, or that many significant, sentimental and pricey valuables were just “overlooked.” Grandmother’s 2-caret diamond pendant, dad’s extensive coin collection long-forgotten in the attic, the gun collection in the hidden closet under the stairs… . In such instances, your new Pour-Over Will steps in and instructs that the assets should be distributed according to the living trust —regardless that required transfer never happened.

2- A Pour-Over Will will enable nomination of Guardians for your minor children. —The second important aspect of your new Pour-Over Will is that you may nominate guardians for your minor children. For those who have have minor children (under 18-years of age), this is a critical aspect of one’s estate plan. If there were no legal document in place, the question of “Who will take care of the kids if you die” is left to strangers in court. If you have not made arrangements to nominate a Guardian, a Probate Judge will decide in your place. Moreover, this would create a situation where a surviving loved one, relative or friend would have to step up, hire a lawyer on your behalf, to petition a Probate Judge that the child should go with this person or that person. The judge would likely have the final say. All of this is eliminated with a straight-forward “Guardian provision” drafted in your Pour-Over will.

When you choose an experienced law firm to draft a comprehensive Estate Plan, it will likely include a Living Trust or a Living Revocable Trust, including a Pour-Over Will as a companion document so as to fully protect you, your family and your assets. Contact Vincent W. Davis & Associates to schedule an appointment today.

Set Up a Day, Evening or Weekend Appointment Now

At Vincent W. Davis & Associates, we are able to represent and assert the interests of our clients estate-related issues including the creation of Pour Over Wills. For assistance, please contact The Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates in Southern California for a complimentary consultation with Mr. Davis personally. Consultations are available in Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire including Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. We also handle California Probate and Estate matters for out of state individuals.

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