Direct Remaining Resources Into Your Trust

September 21, 2012

When you hear about the pros and cons of Last Wills versus revocable living trusts you may decide that, for you and/or your family, the latter choice is a better one. One of the best things about revocable living trusts is the fact that the resources that you utilized to fund the trust can be distributed to your heirs outside of the process of probate.
Probate is a legal proceeding that can be quite time-consuming. Even in simple uncontested cases involving pretty straightforward property transfers and little or no debt it can take a number of months, up to about a year. In more complex cases it can take years.
There is something to remember, however, when you are executing a revocable living trust. You are likely to still be in possession of some resources that you have not placed into the trust at the time of your passing.
If you do nothing to account for these assets their transfer would indeed be delayed as the probate process ran its course.
Making sure that you have a pour-over will to account for your remaining personal assets is something that is routine for experienced probate lawyers. With this instrument you express your desire to have these remaining resources "poured over" into your revocable living trust.
Some people and even inexperienced advisors assume that a pour-over will avoids probate on those assets that were not funded into the trust.  Just the opposite is true.  Experienced attorneys will provide a document that assigns non-titled assets to the trust, such as art work and furniture.  They will also give detailed instructions as to how to place specific assets into your trust.  Properly drafted powers of attorney allow others to place forgotten assets into the trust if you are incapacitated.
People who use do-it-yourself estate planning downloads, or place their trust in inappropriate advisors, may never include such details. These are good examples of why it is always advisable to engage professional expertise when you are executing important legal documents.

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