When you created your trust, you might not have transferred all your assets into its ownership. Yet, as you review it, you may have concerns about what will happen to the assets you left out of it once you die. Failing to account for these in some way could cause them to disburse following New York’s intestate succession laws. By creating a pour-over will, you will likely prevent this outcome.
How a pour-over will works
A pour-over will works in tandem with your trust. In drafting it, you must name your trust as the beneficiary to any assets you left out of it. Before your trust is funded with these assets, they must pass through probate court. Once this happens, they will transfer to your trust’s ownership. These assets can then disburse to your beneficiaries following your trust’s terms.
How a pour-over will can help
By creating a pour-over will, you will prevent any assets left out of your trust from disbursing based on intestate succession laws. Under these laws, you would lose control over who receives these assets, since they would go to your closest living distributee. With a pour-over will, though, you can make sure that they end up in the hands of your trust’s beneficiaries.
Keep in mind that you will not want to use your pour-over will as a substitute for funding your trust. As a rule, you will want to review your trust often enough to make sure most of – or all – your assets transfer into its ownership while you are living. Your pour-over will will act as a safeguard in case they don’t.
While setting up a pour-over will is relatively simple, you will want to ensure its language is sound. An estate planning attorney can help you review it and make sure it is valid and binding.