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How a pour-over will can help prevent probate conflicts

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2023 | Trusts And Estate Planning

Estate planning can be as complicated or simple as an individual’s unique needs. Some people simply create a will, while others create a variety of different documents. Those who are part of more complex family scenarios and who have more resources to pass to others are often eager to create more thorough estate plans. They want to leave a meaningful legacy and to prevent the challenges that could make estate administration difficult for their loved ones.

For example, creating a trust gives someone more direct control over what happens with their assets after their passing. The instructions for the trust can clarify exactly what should happen to someone’s property after they die. Trusts can also reduce the risk of creditor activity or taxes diminishing how much people inherit from the estate. One of the tools that people might use to fund a trust in Colorado is a pour-over will.

What is a pour-over will?

Unlike a traditional will that designates specific beneficiaries for certain assets and requires prompt distribution of those resources, a pour-over will arranges for assets to become the property of a trust instead of an individual. The creation of a pour-over will is an option for both revocable and irrevocable trusts. Pour-over wills are beneficial in part because they ensure that even if someone forgets some of their more valuable assets during the estate planning process, those resources will end up controlled by their trust. They can also eliminate the complications that can arise when someone wants access to resources during their life but also wants to use them to fund a testamentary trust.

When someone dies, the terms included in their pour-over will can transfer ownership of certain assets to a trust. However, unlike when someone transfers assets to the trust before dying, assets transferred to a trust via a pour-over will do not bypass probate court. This means there will be some delays in the process as well, instead of the transfer occurring immediately after someone dies.

A pour-over will that funds a trust can help people retain control of certain assets as they age or arrange for the descent of property they may have overlooked when initially creating their trust. Using the right tools can make a big difference for those concerned about overlooking valuable resources or their beneficiaries misusing an inheritance. Seeking legal guidance can help individuals to better ensure that they’re utilizing the best estate planning tools to achieve their unique estate-related aims.