Do you have a Revocable Living Trust? This handy document can help your estate executor and attorney easily pass property to your family members after your death. It may even help your family to avoid estate taxes and probate. Even if you have a Revocable Living Trust as your primary estate document, you still need a Last Will and Testament. The type of Will used with a Revocable Living Trust is called a Pour Over Will.
What would happen if you bought a new piece of property, but you passed away before you could fund it – in other words, re-title it – into the name of your Living Trust? If you have a Trust but not a Will, any property not funded into your Living Trust will be subject to intestate laws. This means that state law will name your heirs at law to inherit rather than beneficiaries you have chosen in your Trust.
A Pour Over Will helps with such situations. Although it is best to fund items into your Living Trust as soon as possible, it’s easy to put off such tasks when life gets busy. It is also possible to forget about funding a piece of personal property, especially when an estate is sizable.
A Pour Over Will is a safety net for your Living Trust. It does not have the purpose of passing property directly to your heirs the way that a regular Last Will and Testament does. Unfortunately, if your Pour Over Will must be used for unfunded property, probate cannot be avoided.
In the circumstance that probate is needed in a Trust-based Estate, your Pour Over Will can help to speed the process. This type of probate is simply for the purpose of getting non-funded items funded into your Trust.This is the duty of your estate executor. If your successor trustee is someone other than your executor, then the two will work together to get your Trust fully funded.
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