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How can a pour-over will help protect assets?

| Nov 16, 2017 | Blog |

At this point in your life, you may feel that the time has come to create your estate plan. Taking this step can provide many benefits to yourself and to your family. If you hope to use your estate plan to protect your assets, you may find yourself considering a trust-based plan. This planning tool can allow you to separate your property from your estate in order to keep it from going through probate as well as reap other possible benefits.

Though you may know some information about trusts, you may also want to consider another tool to reinforce your trust. If you forget to transfer any assets into the trust or otherwise fail to include them in your trust, those assets could end up distributed in accordance with state law. However, if you create a pour-over will, you could add even more protection to your estate plan.

What is a pour-over will?

A pour-over will is another estate-planning tool that allows you to indicate your wishes that the distribution of any property left out of the trust falls under the terms of the trust. Essentially, with this document, you name the trust as the beneficiary of any remaining property. In this respect, a pour-over will retains similarities to a standard will, but can also dictate beneficiaries.

Does a pour-over will avoid probate?

You may have chosen to utilize a trust-based estate plan for its potential to avoid the probate process. However, a pour-over will does not have that same benefit. If any assets remain outside of the trust, the pour-over will can ensure that the terms of the trust dictate that property’s distribution, but before that property can go into the trust, those assets must first go through probate.

Though it may seem disheartening that probate may still occur, you may feel more secure in knowing that the pour-over will can still protect assets from Michigan intestate laws.

How can you create a pour-over will?

As you begin the estate planning process, you can create and fund your trust and ensure that you create a pour-over will at the same time. Though you may intend to place all of your assets into the trust throughout your life, having the pour-over will could safeguard against any forgotten or misplaced items. Therefore, you may wish to consult with your estate-planning attorney to find out more information on this precaution, along with how it could help better protect your assets.

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