A pourover will is a legal document that is designed to work in conjunction with a revocable living trust. It allows you to direct any assets that are not included in your trust to “pour over” into the trust upon your death. This can include assets that you acquire after creating your trust, as well as assets that you may have forgotten to transfer to the trust during your lifetime.
Because it ensures that any forgotten assets are swept into your trust, a pourover will is an important part of your estate plan. However, it is best not to rely too heavily on the pourover will to sweep forgotten assets into your trust. If too many assets are left out of the trust, a probate petition may be required in order to implement the pourover will. To avoid probate, the best strategy is to ensure that your trust actually owns your assets, particularly your real estate. For tax reasons, your trust cannot own IRAs or other tax-deferred accounts, but it can be named as a pay-on-death beneficiary of these accounts.
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