While creating a trust for your children, perhaps one for a child with special needs, you want to be sure that your trust works you as intend. Even if you have already placed money in the trust, you might want to keep adding or even subtract assets from the trust when needed. This is where a pour over will may help your efforts.
Remember that assets need to be in the trust for your loved ones to benefit. If your leftover assets remain a part of your estate, they will have to go through probate and may not end up passing to who you want. A pour over will might help you avoid this problem.
How a pour over will works
According to the American Bar Association, a pour over will is pretty simple. You state in the will that any remaining property or assets that are in your estate at the time of your death will go into a trust. You may place your assets into an existing trust, also known as a living trust or an inter vivos trust, or you may use the will to create a testamentary trust upon your death to house your assets.
How pour over wills are useful
Some people forget to update their trusts. A pour over will can ensure that no assets will fail to make it into your trust if you die. But even if you update your estate plans often, the hectic nature of your occupation might not allow you many opportunities to add assets into a trust. If you buy and sell real estate on a frequent basis, you may not have available time to shift properties in and out of your trust.
A pour over will also gives you the opportunity to take care of tasks that a trust cannot. You may name someone in the will to be a guardian for your children if you die. You may also use the pour over will to give away lesser properties like a DVD collection to a family member.