Using a pour-over may make it easier to keep assets such as a New York home or vehicle out of your estate. At the time of your death, any assets that aren’t included in your living trust will be poured into it through the will.
You never know what the future holds
You may acquire assets after creating a trust that you forget or don’t have a chance to add to the trust. For instance, you may decide to buy a home and title it in your name instead of your trust’s name. At the time of the purchase, you may decide that it will be transferred when you turn 65 or some other predetermined point in time. However, if you are mentally incapacitated when you reach that point, you wouldn’t be able to make estate planning decisions on your own. Having a pour-over will ensures that the home is transferred properly.
Pour-over wills go through probate
As with a traditional will, a pour-over will is subject to probate. However, the document generally just instructs the court to transfer applicable assets to your trust. Therefore, there isn’t much for the public to see before items fall into the trust and the cloak of secrecy it provides. Of course, if the will isn’t structured properly, it may be voided, which means that some assets could be distributed per state intestacy laws.
Using a pour-over will, living trust or other estate planning documents may make it easier to settle your affairs promptly. As trusts are not a matter of public record, it may minimize the risk of family infighting or other issues that might arise if you award unequal inheritances.