There’s a perception that Living Trusts are just for old people. Granted, there’s a little more immediacy as we get older and need to be thinking about how we’re going to distribute our assets to our heirs. But the reality is that nearly everyone—especially those with dependents—should have a Trust.
Yet for a younger couple, it can be daunting to think of everything that needs to be included in the Trust. These couples also know that they will accumulate more assets over the years. They also may worry that something will happen to them before they can transfer their assets into the Trust.
A Pour-Over Will: A Way for the Trust to accommodate these assets
You may have heard of a “Pour-Over Will” that is often used in conjunction with a Living Trust. Under the terms of a Pour-Over Will, all property that passes through the Will at your death is transferred to—or poured into–your Trust. It’s then distributed to those Trust beneficiaries you identified when you prepared your Trust.
The advantages of the Pour-Over-Will and Living Trust
- Simplicity. Everything is controlled by a single document, the Trust. It makes it easier for the Executor and Trustee who are in charge of administering your estate after your death.
- A Pour-Over Will takes care of assets that you don’t get around to transferring to the Trust before your death. It alleviates your worrying about transferring everything you own into your Living Trust—which no one does.
- Trusts, unlike Wills, are private; they don’t become public records after your death. This keeps the details of who inherits your property confidential. Without a Living Trust, your estate goes into Probate, which is also a matter of public record.
Keeping your Living Trust updated
The Pour-Over Will serves as a safety net, but it doesn’t replace the need to keep your Trust updated with important life events. What constitute important life events? Think of these as anything that will have a significant impact on the inheritance of your heirs. If you get married, divorced or lose a spouse, you need to update your Trust. If there is a birth, death or other addition to your family, it needs to be included. If you’ve made a career change where you’re making significantly more money, this will affect your heirs, as will the purchase of real property, including a timeshare; if you’ve purchased stocks, a life insurance policy or made other investments whose proceeds will likely be inherited by your family, they need to be included in your Trust.
If any of these life events triggers a reminder for you that it’s time to update your Living Trust, contact DP Legal Solutions today. Please note that we can assist you regardless of who originally created your Living Trust.