A Pour-over Will is a simple type of Last Will and Testament that works together with a Revocable Living Trust. Instead of dividing assets upon your death, a Pour-over Will is used to “pour” assets into your Revocable Living Trust upon your death. Your trust does the rest.

When most people think of estate planning, they think about getting a Will so they can lay out how they want to divide their assets upon their death. Division of your assets is one of the main functions of your Will (also called a Last Will and Testament). Your Will also names who you want to be your executor (also called a personal representative) as well as guardians for minor children.

A traditional Will is a great tool for estate planning, but not always the most effective option. To carry out the terms of a traditional Will you’ll need to go through probate. This means that the Will must be filed with the probate court upon your death. The probate court approves the Will as a valid Will. The probate court also appoints your executor (personal representative) and supervises the administration of your Will. If you want to avoid the hassle, expense, time, and publicity of probate, you can use a Revocable Living Trust and a Pour-over Will for better, smoother estate planning.

A Pour-over Will works together with a Revocable Living Trust. When you have a Revocable Living Trust as part of your Foundational Estate Planning, the trust handles division of assets without the need for probate. Because the trust takes care of dividing your assets, your Pour-over Will functions as a safety net “pouring” any assets into your trust which were not already there. Your Pour-over Will ensures that everything ultimately ends up in your Revocable Living Trust to follow your pre-designed inheritance plan. Your Pour-over Will can also designate guardians for minor children if applicable.

Simplify your estate planning by using a Pour-over Will in combination with a Revocable Living Trust. Your heirs will thank you.