What is a Pour-Over Will? California Probate Code 88

Most basic estate plans usually contain a Will, Revocable (Living) Trust, Advanced Heath Care Directive (AHCD), and Durable Power of Attorney for finance and business matters (DPOA).

In California, if a decedent only has a will in their estate plan, their estate must be probated in order to be distributed to the beneficiaries. A solution to that probate requirement is to create a Pour-Over Will. Your Last Will and Testament is your statement to the world that “this is what I want to happen to my property when I die.” Well, a Pour-Over Will directed to your trust tells the world, “I want my property managed and/or distributed by my Trust.” It eliminates the need to initiate long and costly probate proceedings.

The formalities of a Pour-Over Will are the same as for any basic California Last Will and Testament. The testator must have both testamentary intent and testamentary capacity as evidenced by writing witnessed by two disinterested witnesses.

However, many of our clients are unaware that their Pour-Over Will can also distribute personal property and well as nominate guardians of minor children. So, when discussing your estate plan, make sure you discuss the particulars of your Pour-Over Will with a qualified estate planning attorney like our professionals at Barilari & Williams, LLP.

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