Pennsylvania probate: Do you need a pour-over will?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2019 | Probate |

Having a will prepared, even a basic one, is better than having nothing. Having a trust created is better still, for Pennsylvania residents who want to make sure their assets are truly protected and passed on as intended. However, a trust is only useful if it is funded. In the event a person fails to fund his or her trust, fully or even partially, a pour-over will can ensure property ends up in the right hands. If this type of will ends up being utilized, probate will be required.

What exactly is a pour-over will? It is different than a standard will. It is written in conjunction will a trust and only addresses the assets to be placed in the trust. The beneficiary named in this type of will is the trust, not a living heir. So, when one passes away, any property that was not adequately funded into the trust will be in the end.

One of the reasons many people wish to have trusts created is so that their loved ones do not have to go through the probate process. If the use of a pour-over will becomes necessary, probate is needed to close out one’s estate. There are a number of reasons for this which legal counsel can explain.

Do Pennsylvania residents need pour-over wills? If they have trust-based estate plans, this type of legal document is certainly worth looking into. Without one in place, if for some reason a trust is not properly funded, during the probate process state law will determine to whom one’s assets will go, and who wants that?

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