Why Your Estate Plan Needs a Pour-Over Will

A complete Estate Plan accounts for all aspects of your life’s work. You work hard and acquire assets over time that hold value and meaning to you and your loved ones. However, an incomplete plan puts some aspects of your legacy up in the air.

Your Estate Plan should include a number of elements that cover your specific situation, not just a single document. There is no “one-size-fits-all” planning strategy. Making use of Wills and Trusts to cover the transfer of assets prevents you from dying intestate and leaving all your hard work in the hands of South Carolina Probate courts.

But, what happens to all the assets you don’t account for that you either acquired later in life or simply forgot about? This is where a Pour-Over Will comes into play.

What is a Pour-Over Will?

A Pour-Over Will is a mechanism in Estate Planning that allows you to account for all the assets that were not transferred into a Trust at the time of your death. All Trusts become irrevocable at death so your loved ones aren’t able to make changes later on. However, a Pour-Over Will enables the court to transfer leftover assets into a Trust before administering your Estate.

This ensures any assets you were unable to account for in your complete plan are still left to your loved ones according to your wishes as opposed to leaving them in Probate limbo. The assets that pass from a Pour-Over Will to a Trust still move through the Probate court but only as a means to verify the ownership of the assets.

How to Structure a Pour-Over Will

A Pour-Over Will must be tied to a Trust. If you don’t have a Trust in place then the Pour-Over Will has no effect and therefore would be dismissed. Your Trust(s) should account for as many of your assets as possible, but we understand assets and wealth change over time.

Your Pour-Over Will is a safety net for the changes that occur between the last time you updated your Estate Plan and the time of your death. You may have bought a new home, vehicle, or other expensive asset without addressing it in your plan. A Pour-Over Will protects you in these circumstances.

Thorough Estate Planning Protects Your LegacyAt Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we consider all possible avenues to fulfill our client’s best wishes. We understand the nuance of Estate Planning and take a holistic approach to each individual plan. If you have concerns about your current plan or simply need to start from scratch, contact Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm to get your plan done right today.

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Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm

At the Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is all about protecting your family and loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death.

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