In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses what a pour-over will is, and if you should have one.
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “pour-over will.” If you have, you’re probably (like most people) wondering, what the heck is a pour-over will? It is an expression used for the type of will that someone has if they have a living trust. Basically, where the name come from is, it’s a will that says, “if, when I die, there is anything not yet in my living trust, I leave it to the trustee in my living it trust so it pours over into the living trust.”
Now, let me tell you, I was not the one in charge of choosing that name. If I had been, it would be called a fire extinguisher will. Why do I say that? Like a fire extinguisher, it’s a good idea to have one but you hope to never use it. A reason that I say that is that if you have assets, if you say “well I don’t need to worry about getting assets into my living trust during my lifetime – I’ve got that pour-over will,” they’ll get into your living trust, but they they’re going to go through probate first if they’re above the probate exemption.
So, above $100,00 in Illinois, above $40,000 in Missouri, any real estate gets you through probate. So, you want to have that will if there are one or two things that you’ve not gotten into the living trust, it will keep you out of probate, but it’s not a substitute for funding a living trust.
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.