Pour Over Will Lawyer
If you have a revocable living trust to allow your property to pass to loved ones without the delays and expense of probate, you are well ahead of the game. However, that does not mean you don't need other estate planning documents.
In particular, you should have a pour-over will. This will covers property that does not get included in your trust. Peach State Wills & Trusts prepares pour-over wills to protect your family and ensure that your property passes the way you intend.
The Trust Only Covers Property Officially Transferred to Trust Ownership
Sometimes people pass away before they have the chance to title a new property in the name of the trust. Or they may have been prevented from transferring ownership or advised not to transfer particular property into the trust. That property then becomes part of that person's probate estate when they pass.
If they do not have a will, then the property in the probate estate is governed by the Georgia laws of intestate succession. This may be confusing and disappointing for family members who expected to receive that property. For instance, you might have intended to give a car to your niece, but the laws of intestate succession specify that the property is to be divided between your spouse and your children, and the vehicle ends up being sold.
How a Pour-Over Will Operates
A pour-over will specifies that assets that belong to your probate estate at the time of death will automatically go into the trust. Then that property can be distributed according to the guidelines you established in the trust document.
Essentially, the pour-over will operates as a safety net to ensure that your property goes to the people you want to have it and according to your terms.
A Pour-Over Will Protects Your Privacy
With a traditional will, all of your property bequests become public knowledge. When a will is probated, it goes on the public record.
A pour-over will also becomes a matter of public record, but it does not reveal any private information. Instead, it simply specifies that property in your probate estate will pass into the trust. The terms of the trust are private. Therefore, the way you choose to distribute your property remains a private matter.
Property That Passes Through a Pour-Over Will Still May Need to Go Through Probate
Unfortunately, a pour-over will—or any type of will—does not keep your property out of probate. If you leave property that does not go to someone directly through the trust, a beneficiary clause, right of survivorship or other method, then it becomes part of your probate estate, and will generally require probate.
However, if the property left out of the trust is not of high monetary value and does not include real estate, the probate process may be greatly simplified and easy to navigate.
Pour-Over Wills Can Also Nominate The Right People to Care for Your Children
As noted in another article (link to that page) concerning nominating guardians and conservators for your children, revocable living trusts do not provide provisions for who would care for your minor-aged children upon your death. Accordingly, if you have minor-aged children, it is critical to ensure you have a properly drafted pour-over will in addition to your revocable trust to make your wishes known for the care and support of your children so that they can be followed.
Peach State Wills & Trusts Can Protect Your Family with a Pour-Over Will
A comprehensive estate plan should include several documents that work together to protect the full range of your interests now and provide an easy and beneficial transition for your family in the future. At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we can build a plan to meet your goals or review your existing plan to update or add just the components you need for full protection.
We invite you to schedule a consultation to find how we can help you with a pour-over will or other planning tools and strategies.