In a recent post, we discussed the common misconception that estate planning shouldn’t happen until later in life. Many people assume that they should just wait until they are nearing retirement (or later) to draft a will and attend to other estate planning tasks. This is risky, of course, because none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. It’s always better to be prepared.
That being said, property and assets do change over time. As such, your estate plan will need to be reviewed and updated accordingly. And if you forget anything, one legal tool can help you account for any assets you may have missed: a pour-over will.
A standard will is a document listing specific assets and to whom each should be given. The clearer and more thorough your will is, the less work your loved ones will have to do when it comes time to distribute the assets of your estate. This is one reason why it is important to update your will over time.
Even with careful preparation, however, you may forget to address certain assets in your will. The way to resolve that is to use a pour-over will instead. The will contains a provision that says any assets not specifically addressed in your will should be transferred to a trust. This can be an already existing trust or one created specifically for the pour-over assets.
There are advantages to using pour-over wills, just as there are advantages to using trusts rather than traditional wills. Discovering the right estate planning tools for you is as easy as speaking to an attorney about your needs and goals.