Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.

Using pour-over wills to round out an estate plan

Pour-over wills are used with trusts and other estate planning tools as a catchall for anything that wasn't included in the other documents. This helps the heirs and executor avoid later problems in Ohio probate court if the deceased forgot to include something or obtained other property after they formed their trust.

A pour-over will works just like any other will. The one exception is that instead of naming specific property, it says that anything not specifically included in other estate planning documents should be divided as stated in the pour-over. Usually, this is done by saying that any remaining property is left to the trust rather than to a specific beneficiary. This allows the property to be distributed along with the rest of the trust even when it was originally left out of the trust.

Whether someone has a pour-over will or not, the property that's outside of the trust will still need to go through probate. The advantage to the pour-over is that having everything spelled out makes things simpler for the heirs and avoids disputes.

Pour-over wills are useful estate planning tools, but they shouldn't be relied on entirely. Instead, it's recommended to use them as a backup plan to keep things simple and to help avoid unforeseen complications. A living trust can be changed at any time, so there is no need to worry about adding things to a trust too soon.

An experienced estate planning attorney may help make effective use of a pour-over will while also helping clients ensure that the overall estate plan is up to date. Taking these extra planning steps today might help make sure a person's family's future is protected without having to go through complex court proceedings.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

Toll Free: 888-335-6650
Phone: 216-245-0504
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