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Experienced Representation In Business Law, Estate Planning And Tax Law

Experienced Representation In Business Law, Estate Planning And Tax Law

We have been serving the legal needs of clients in the Godfrey area for more than four decades. Our attorneys make the law accessible to our clients, explaining complex legal concepts in plain English and helping them make well-informed decisions about the future.
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Do pour-over wills pass through probate?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2020 | estate planning |

Some people set up trusts to keep assets from going through probate. However, individuals with complex estates might neglect placing one or more assets into a trust before they pass away. To prevent this from happening, some Illinois residents compose pour-over wills to account for assets missed by their trusts. However, this does not mean assets governed by a pour-over will shall avoid probate.

FindLaw explains that pour-over wills work by taking assets owned by a testator and pouring them over into a trust after the testator dies. People use pour-over wills to make sure any assets they wanted in the trust but failed to include will make it into the trust. Some people set a pour-over will in place so that they do not have to worry about adding assets to a trust multiple times.

However, a pour-over will does not avoid probate. A pour-over will is just like other kinds of wills. Before a pour-over will can place assets into a trust, the will must proceed through a probate court. So while assets already in the trust may go to beneficiaries immediately upon the death of the testator, assets slated to go into the trust via a pour-over will must wait for the probate process to complete.

Sometimes probate does not last long, so going through probate is a minor inconvenience to beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Beneficiaries or possible beneficiaries may litigate a pour-over will like any other will. Creditors might also get involved. Depending on the case, months may pass before the pour-over will goes into effect.

Because of the risks involved with leaving assets to a pour-over will, it may be beneficial to pay special attention to assets you want your trust to distribute shortly after you pass away. A pour-over will can be useful for lower priority assets and by providing a layer of security that accounts for all assets you want in your trust.

This article is only written for educational purposes and is not a substitute for the legal advice provided by an attorney.