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Establishing a Pour-Over Will in Pennsylvania

How a Pittsburgh Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

Often used in conjunction with a living trust, pour-over wills allow for all property that is acknowledged in the terms of a person's will to be transferred to said person's trust at the time of his or her death. In essence, this transfer is viewed as a pouring over of property from a will to a trust. Once the transfer has been completed, the property can be distributed to trust beneficiaries who were named by the will's original creator.

The simplicity and privacy of a pour-over will offers individuals who utilize them with advantages not provided to persons who choose to forego them. For example, having everything controlled by a single document ensures that you will not have to worry about transferring everything over into a living trust; rather, the pour over allows for assets that weren't transferred before death to be poured over into the pre-established living trust. Accordingly, it is important to work with a Pittsburgh estate planning lawyer from our firm for help navigating your way through the process.

How the Pour-Over Process Works

Pour-over wills operate in a very similar fashion to the standard will in that they require the nomination of an individual to serve as executor of the estate. The person who is elected as executor of the estate will from then on be responsible for handling all matters identified in the will at the time of the creator's death. The typical duties expected of an executor of a standard will, however, are much more condensed when the pour-over will is enacted instead.

Rather than taking responsibility for paying off debts and / or taxes, gathering personal assets, and transferring these assets to the appropriate beneficiary (as identified in the terms of the will), the executor of a pour-over will is only responsible for gathering all assets that pass under the will and systematically moving them into the living trust. In most cases, only a minimal amount of property even passes through a pour-over will, making the job of the executor even less complicated.

Given the fact that most property is transferred into the living trust before the creator of the trust passes away, the job of an executor of a pour-over will should not be too complex. Assuming the estate planning process is executed appropriately, there is no reason for the pour-over process to be one that is filled with complexities. It is precisely for this reason that it is important to work with a legal professional as you proceed through the estate planning process. When things are done correctly from the beginning, future happenings will likely run much more smoothly.

Information for Successor Trustees in Pittsburgh, PA

After the assets of a trust have been successfully moved and are being held in the name of the trust, all following responsibilities will be delegated to the successor trustee, i.e. the individual who was named in the living trust as the person expected to take over upon death or incapacitation. Although similar to the responsibilities expected of an executor, a successor trustee will be limited in the control that he or she has in regard to the trust's assets. Any property that is included in the probate estate will not fall under the jurisdiction of the successor trustee.

Successor trustees are specifically responsible for collecting trust assets and distributing these assets to the beneficiaries identified in the terms of the trust. These assets include those that were transferred into the living trust through the execution of a pour-over will. These acts can be made in lieu of receiving approval from the probate court, making the job of a trustee that much easier than the job of an executor. The trustee's actions will fall in accordance with the instructions that have been left to him or her in the details of the trust document. Accordingly, only those wishes which are dictated in the terms of a trust will be carried out by the trustee upon death or incapacitation.

Why work with the Temple & Frayer Law?

For nearly 40 years, the legal team at the Temple & Frayer Law has been serving their community in all matters related to estate planning law. Today, the firm proudly provides effective legal representation throughout the estate planning process, including matters related to pour-over wills. From the most basic to the most extreme levels of intensity in a case, the Frayer Law Offices can be contacted for the supportive legal guidance and professional service that you both need and deserve at this time. You are encouraged to contact us today to learn more about the estate planning process, and to take advantage of the confidential consultation that we offer to all prospective clients.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.