People who utilize a last will to elucidate their final wishes will be subjecting their heirs to the process of probate. This can create significant delays with regard to the distribution of assets, and there could be some considerable costs incurred during the probate process as well.
Because of these and other reasons, probate avoidance strategies are often implemented. One way to arrange for the distribution of assets to your family members outside of the process of probate would be to execute a revocable living trust.
With these trusts, a direct and efficient transfer of assets can be facilitated. However, you are also going to need a certain type of Will if you decide to create a revocable living trust called a pour-over Will.
When you initially fund the trust it is likely that you will still retain some personal possessions. And of course between the time you create the trust and the time of your passing you may indeed acquire assets and/or personal property that you did not see fit to place into the trust.
A pour-over Will is a document that is used to express your wishes regarding the disposition of this property. You state that you would like the resources held outside of the trust that remain in your personal possession to be placed, or “poured over,” into your revocable living trust.
It should be noted that there is yet another type of Will that is recommended for everyone regardless of the vehicle of asset transfer that you use. Living wills, also known as advance health care directives, are used to express your wishes regarding the use of certain medical procedures should you become unable to communicate your choices in real time. An advance health care directive should be a part of any comprehensive plan for the future.