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Pour-over wills and trust-based estate planning

| Oct 11, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Preparing a living trust can help New Jersey residents ensure their property is passed on to the appropriate beneficiaries when the time comes. However, a trust is only good if it is funded, which some people fail to do. When this happens, an estate becomes subject to the probate process, and absent a last will and testament, the state may have to decide how and to whom one’s assets are divided. Creating a pour-over will when going through trust-based estate planning can help ensure assets make it into the right hands.

A pour-over will is not like a standard last will and testament. This will only addresses what is to happen with assets that are supposed to be in one’s living trust. The only beneficiary mentioned in this type of will is the trust. This is not a legal document used to identify living heirs.

A pour-over will is good to have as a backup should one fail to fund his or her trust, fully or partially. Having one, though, does not mean estate administration will be handled without going through the probate process. There are various reasons as to why estate administration will need to be handled in court when the use of a pour-over will becomes necessary. Legal counsel can offer more information on this.

Trust-based estate planning is a good thing and can help one’s estate be passed on without loved ones having to spend time working through probate — among other benefits. Funding a trust can be confusing and time-consuming, but legal counsel can walk New Jersey residents through the process. An experienced estate planning attorney can also help one prepare a pour-over will simply to have as added protection.