A lot of people ask what will happen to assets that are not included in a trust. How can such assets be transferred at the time of death? The answer is through a pour-over-will.

A pour-over-will can be used in conjunction with a living trust to ensure that your near and dear ones benefit the most from your assets after your death. There are many reasons all the assets are not transferred to a trust. Sometimes people just forget to transfer newly acquired asset. A pour-over-will ensures that the assets are distributed according to your exact wishes.

Let’s explore this concept further and find out the benefits and drawbacks of the pour-over-will.

Benefits of a Pour-Over-Will

Creating a pour-over-will in consultation with an experienced probate attorney provides many benefits. Here are some of the ways you can benefit from creating this type of will.

  • Ensure Protection of All Assets —A pour-over-will allows assets that have been left out deliberately, or forgotten, are protected. It ensures that all the assets are transferred according to your wishes. If a pour-over-will is note created, the assets not transferred to a trust are treated as if the person had died intestate i.e. without a will. As a result, the assets are passed to the heirs according to local laws as opposed to your wishes.
  • Helps in Wrapping up the Estate —Another benefit of creating a pour-over-will is that it helps in the management of the estate. Creating the will ensures that a single document controls the transfer of leftover assets that make it easier to wrap up the estate.
  • Privacy of Assets —The third main benefit of creating a pour-over-will is that it ensures that the assets of a person’s estate that are not included in a trust for any reason are kept private. Assets included in the wills and trusts are not revealed to the public. Creating a pour-over-will ensures privacy of all the assets.

Drawbacks of Pour-Over-Wills

Pour-over-wills has certain drawbacks that you should be aware of. The biggest disadvantage of assets included in a pour-over-will is that they go through the probate process.

Assets that are held in a trust are immediately transferred to the heirs. They don’t have to wait for the probate process to complete. On the other hand, all assets that are passed through wills, including pour-over-wills are probated. However, if the individual has diligently transferred major assets to the trust, and only less valuable assets are left, this is not normally a problem. In some circumstances, if the asset’s value is low enough, they pass through an accelerated probate process.

Before making any probate related decisions, you should get advice from a professional probate lawyer in Chicago, IL. This is important to ensure that you make the best decision that will result in maximum benefit for your wards after your death.

In case you want more information about pour-over-will or any other aspect of the estate planning, you can contact one of our wills & trusts lawyers in Chicago today. We have a team of expert attorneys who can provide you guidance and advice after assessing your special circumstances.