Serving Clients in Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven Counties

Why a Pour-Over Will Could Be Useful

Connecticut residents who are planning their estate might want to consider creating a pour-over will as an accompaniment to a revocable living trust. The purpose of a pour-over will is to take care of any assets that a person does not place in the trust. It is best used as a kind of backup policy in case a person acquires assets after creating the trust or forgets to place some in it.

Essentially, a pour-over will names the trust as the beneficiary for all assets that are not already set up to go to people through other means such as a beneficiary designation. If a person does not have a will and assets that are not directed toward other beneficiaries, the state decides what happens to them. This could result in assets going to relatives from whom a person is estranged or in a person’s wishes otherwise not being carried out.

An estate plan, including a trust, should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is up to date. Revocable living trusts can be changed as needed. Any new property might need to be added to the trust.

Marriages, births, deaths and divorces might also lead to the need to change a revocable living trust. It is also important to ensure that the trust is consistent with other aspects of the estate plan. For example, beneficiary designations override what is in trusts or wills. People might also want to talk to an attorney about whether a trust might be the right choice for them as part of estate planning. Many people think of trusts as tools that only help wealthy families, but they can be used for many purposes. With a trust, a person can specify how assets are distributed to beneficiaries, take care of a relative who has special needs or contribute to charity.