In California, a pour-over will can account for all of your assets and properties that have not been included or transferred into your living trust. A Pasadena last will and testament attorney at Barilari & Williams can prepare a pour-over will on your behalf.

If someone dies in California with only a last will and testament for an estate plan, that person’s estate will be subject to probate prior to the distribution of the estate’s properties and assets to that person’s beneficiaries.

What Do Pour-Over Wills Accomplish?

However, if you’ve prepared a pour-over will, at the time of your death, your pour-over will can transfer the remainder of your assets and properties to your revocable living trust, thus eliminating the need for your beneficiaries to endure the lengthy and expensive probate process.

A pour-over will can also distribute personal property and designate a guardian for your minor child or children. The rules for pour-over wills are exactly the same rules that govern any will in California. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. You must be “of sound mind.”
  3. Your will must be created freely and voluntarily.
  4. Your will must be in writing and printed as a hard copy.

What Makes Pour-Over Wills Effective?

Ideally, your pour-over will should be prepared by the same attorney who prepared your revocable living trust. This ensures that the two documents are consistent and raise no legal contradictions.

A pour-over will must spell out your intention for your personal property to pour over into your revocable living trust. Only your personal assets may pour-over. Assets held by another trust, property owned by joint tenancy, and Pay on Death accounts do not pour-over.

You will need to designate someone you trust as the executor of your pour-over will. At the time of your death, that executor will need to locate your personal assets and transfer them into your revocable living trust. Your pour-over will should spell out the responsibilities of your executor.

If you have beneficiaries who live outside of the United States or beneficiaries who are not U.S. citizens, a pour-over will may not be right for them. You’ll need to have an estate planning attorney review the matter and advise you about your options and alternatives.

Let Barilari & Williams Prepare Your Estate Planning Documents

With offices in Long Beach and Pasadena, a Southern California last will and testament attorney at Barilari & Williams can review your estate, discuss your goals and wishes, and then prepare a revocable living trust and a pour-over will on your behalf.

To learn more about pour-over wills and revocable living trusts, or to begin the estate planning process, your first consultation with an estate planning attorney at Barilari & Williams is provided at no cost.

Our attorneys have more than a decade of combined experience creating effective wills and trusts – and providing sound estate planning advice – for our clients in Southern California. Call us now at 888-EST-PLAN to schedule that free first consultation.