Many individuals are uncertain of exactly what constitutes a pour-over will. Pour-over wills must meet specific legal requirements in order to be effective estate planning tools. Pour-over wills are designed to work in conjunction with another estate planning tool called a revocable living trust. This article will understand some of the key elements about pour-over wills that individuals in Oklahoma who interested in estate planning should understand.
The Relationship Between Pour-Over Wills and Living Trusts
Many individuals in Oklahoma are familiar with the concept of a will, which is the most common type of estate planning tool. A last will and testament can be used by individuals to make gifts to whomever the individual likes. Individuals have the ability to revise the terms of a will at any point or even complete revoke the will if the individual’s wishes change. Living trusts are another important type of estate planning tool. With living trusts, individuals transfer assets into the trust’s name. The trust is then used as a tool through which an individual can name beneficiaries. Living trusts are an excellent option because these devices allow individuals to avoid the probate process. Pour-over wills create a last will and testament that is designed to accompany a trust so that the trust inherits any personally owned property.A pour-over will is designed to take any property that an individual did not transfer into a living trust and transfer this property into the trust after the individual dies.
The Advantages of Pour-Over Wills
A will that transfers property to an individual’s trust is a good idea because this way individuals can make sure that all assets are covered by the terms of a document. There are several particular advantages to a pour-over will:
- Completeness. A pour-over will accounts for assets that an individual might not transfer into a trust prior to death.
- Privacy. Trusts do not become public record after an individual’s death, which means that individuals can keep the details of who inherits the property more private in nature.
- Simplicity. Because pour-over wills rely upon just one document, the use of one trust document makes it particularly easy to determine which party is able to receive the assets from the deceased individual’s estate.
The Disadvantage of Pour-Over Wills
Pour-over wills have several downsides which includes that property that passes through these wills must go through the probate process, which can force a living trust to be probated for several months after an individual’s death. In many situations, only a small amount of property passes through a pour-over will. If the value of the property that passes under the will is small enough, an estate might even qualify for special “small estate” probate procedures, which can be quicker and much less expensive than a typical probate process.
Obtain the Services of a Skilled Oklahoma Estate Planning Attorney
If you have questions about pour over wills or any other estate planning tool, contact attorney Jim A. Lyon at the Jim A. Lyon Law Firm in Oklahoma City to schedule an initial consultation. Attorney Lyon has a strong track record helping individuals involved in a variety of estate planning situations.