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Using a Pour-Over Will and Revocable Trust in Estate Planning

What is a Pour Over Will and how can it benefit your estate? We answer that question and more in our guide to Pour Over Wills.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

A pour-over will is yet another estate planning option that further ensures the protection of your assets. If you’ve established a trust, or plan to start one, you might want to consider adding a pour-over will. Some individuals deliberately choose not to place all their assets into their trust all at once. Other individuals might simply forget to do so, or run out of time. All of these are likely scenarios in which a pour-over will add a layer of protection. 

So, what is the connection between a pour-over will and revocable trust? Do you need one if you have the other? After you learn about this powerful duo, you might consider adding them to your estate planning toolkit.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  • What is a Pour-Over Will?

  • What is a Revocable Trust?

  • Pour-Over Will and Revocable Trust - Do I Need Both?

What is a Pour-Over Will?

A pour-over will is a type of will that names your living trust as the beneficiary of any and all assets. Upon your death, any assets not already owned by your trust are “poured over” into it. Pour-over wills provide a safety net to ensure that any assets that you might have left out (either accidentally or on purpose) are transferred into your trust when you pass away. Unfortunately, any assets that are poured over must go through probate because they won’t have been already owned by your trust before your death. Visit our in-depth pour-over will guide for more information, and to find out if you’d benefit from this type of will. 

What is a Revocable Trust?

A revocable trust is a type of trust that can be revoked, modified, or updated if needed. It’s a favorable option if you want to establish a living trust, and foresee the need to make changes or prefer having flexibility. This is as opposed to an irrevocable trust, which does not allow any changes to be made. Our guide explaining the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts highlight their respective advantages and disadvantages. 

Pour-Over Will and Revocable Trust - Do I Need Both?

A pour-over will and revocable trust work in tandem, so you will need both if you’d like for your pour-over will to work. If you don’t plan to establish a living trust, or if everything you own is already placed in a trust, you might not need a pour-over will. It’s still a good option to know about as it’s worth your consideration.

Setting up a pour-over will is a great tool to implement if you have a revocable trust. By doing so, you can rest assured that any assets not already owned by the trust will automatically transfer over at the time of your passing. However, keep in mind that these assets will have to go through probate first. Because of this, it’s best to place all of your assets into your trust now, unless you have a good reason not to. Bottom line, a pour-over will should be treated like a safety net that adds reassurance. 

If you’re interested in setting up a pour-over will and revocable trust, we’ve got your back! At Trust & Will, we’ve made it easy to set up trusts and wills through our online services. You don’t have to hire an estate planning attorney. All you have to do is get started on our portal and go through our guided processes with just a few clicks! We also have support professionals who can help you along the way should you have any questions. 

Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or Chat with a live member support representative!