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A pour-over will can be an effective estate planning tool

Estate planning isn't a one-time event. Instead, individuals should be sure to revisit their estate plan periodically to ensure that it conform to their wishes. This is particularly true because major life events may change the way one's assets will be distributed, or it may change the way they want their assets to be divided upon their death.

One effective way to manage an estate plan is to utilize a pour-over will. This type of will specifies that all of an individual's assets will transfer to an already established trust upon their death. One of the biggest benefits of this type of arrangement is that it allows assets to be dealt with despite the fact that they were not specifically addressed in an estate plan. Therefore, if an individual forgets to add newly acquired assets to their estate plan, then these assets will still be subject to the terms of the will and the corresponding trust rather than passing in accordance with the state's intestate laws.

Logistically speaking, even a pour-over will has to go through the probate process. Here, the will's executor will identify estate assets and transfer them to the named trust. At that time, the trustee becomes responsible for managing the trust's assets and abiding by the terms and conditions placed upon them by the testator.

Although a pour-over will can be an effective way to manage one's estate, it's not for everyone. Some people want a more detailed approach, distributing their assets to a number of different people and entities. In these circumstances, it may be best to set up multiple trusts that can suit the needs of the testator and each named beneficiary. The estate planning process is completely customizable, which is why those who are interested in creating or modifying their estate plan may want to consult with a trustworthy legal professional experienced in this field.

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