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Tag Archives: Wills

What is a “Pour Over Will”?

A “Pour Over” will is a document that is used as a supporting document in a Trust Based Estate Plan.  Trust based plans rely on “funding” or “retitling” of your assets, property, bank accounts, etc.  A Pour Over Will is a backup instrument that is intended to take care of anything that was not funded properly, whether by beneficiary designation, retitling, or otherwise.  Unfortunately, it only works through the probate system.  It also deals only with property that is titled in the name of the decedent, or that has been designated by beneficiary assignment to the “estate” of the decedent.

It isn’t a perfect tool, but does take care of a lot of oversights and mistakes.  In some respects it is very much like any other will, and in other respects much, much different.

Basically, it says “Take whatever we missed, run it through probate, put it into the trust, and act like it was there to start with”.  In other words, the Trust is the only beneficiary of this will.

Pourover wills often give the “Personal Representative” or “Executor” the power to create a trust identical to the one that was intended to be created if this can be determined.

They aren’t perfect tools, and can’t fix all errors, but no well designed Trust Based Plan should be without one.

Contact us if you need more help.

Wills Do NOT Avoid Probate in Missouri!!

Once again last week I got to explain to a client that Wills only work through the probate system.  A very, very nice lady came in with her elderly mother’s will.  It had been prepared by an out of town firm by a lawyer recommended by a financial planner.  The will was simple, but valid.  When… Continue Reading

Missouri Wills that do NOTHING!

Many times wills do absolutely nothing.  Consider this sad, true story, modified only slightly: I received a call from a client a little while back.  We’ll call her Suzy.  Her father had died four years ago.  He left a Will that said, in essence, I leave everything to my wife should she survive, and if not to… Continue Reading

Missouri Beneficiary Deeds Override Wills

Once again today I got to explain to a child that a Will does not override a Beneficiary Deed. Beneficiary Deeds transfer property to another upon the death of the owner of the property. They are sometimes called “TOD” or “Transfer on Death” Deeds. Assuming the beneficiary is alive it happens instantly and automatically upon… Continue Reading

Dying Without a Will in Missouri

We are often asked about what happens when one dies without a will in Missouri. The better question should be something like “What happens when one dies without a will, a trust, or any other mechanism to transfer my assets and property?” The answer is a little complicated. Again, we are assuming that property, assets, etc.… Continue Reading