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Pour Over Will Lawyer in North Carolina

Many people in North Carolina believe that if they have established a revocable living trust to bypass the probate process, they no longer need a will.

Pour Over Will Lawyer in North Carolina

Many people in North Carolina believe that if they have established a revocable living trust to bypass the probate process, they no longer need a will. In a perfect world, they might not. But in the real world, a will is essential for handling property that does not make it into the trust for whatever reason.

The will that works best in conjunction with a revocable trust is often a pour-over will. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we understand how to create a pour-over will to coordinate with the terms of your trust to protect your beneficiaries.

How a Pour-Over Will Compares to a Traditional Will

A traditional will specifies various individuals or entities who should receive your property when you pass away. A pour-over will, on the other hand, is a simpler document that orders that assets that have not already been transferred to the revocable living trust should be moved into the trust at the time of your death. Essentially, the pour-over will makes your trust the beneficiary of any remaining property that is not yet part of the trust. This does not include property that passes directly to beneficiaries through a beneficiary designation, such as beneficiary provisions associated with retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

Because of its vague nature, a pour-over will keeps the transfer of property private. Anyone hoping to find out who you left your property to would need to know the terms of your trust, which is not a public document. A traditional will, by contrast, becomes a public document when it is filed with the probate court.

A Pour-Over Will Operates as a Safety Net

Ideally, when you set up a revocable living trust, you arrange matters so that all of your property is either held by the trust or set up to pass directly to beneficiaries. But what if you left something out? For example, what if you just bought a car and haven’t yet had it titled in the name of the trust?

A pour-over will ensures that the property will pass to your beneficiaries according to your plan, although it may need to pass through probate first. Without a will, that property passes in accordance with the North Carolina laws of intestate succession and it might well go to someone you would not choose.

The Executor of a Pour-Over Will in North Carolina

While the executor of a traditional will has substantial duties to fulfill to settle an estate, the executor of a pour-over will has a single, simple job. They must take any assets governed by the will and ensure that they are transferred to the trust. Then the successor trustee of the revocable living trust takes over. Unlike an executor, the trustee does not need to wait for approval from the court before they are empowered to act.

Discuss a Pour-Over Will with an Experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney

What kind of will is right for your situation? Is your trust funded the way it should be? An estate plan is not something to create once and then ignore. You need to periodically review provisions to ensure that they still meet your needs and goals.

At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we would be happy to review your estate planning documents and to update or develop any components that are not where they should be. To discuss your options, including a pour-over will, we invite you to schedule a confidential consultation today.

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