Under Texas law, individuals (testators) may create a revocable living trust which allows them to use their assets during their lifetime and subsequently securely transfer them to their designated beneficiaries after the testator’s death. These trusts protect the testator if they become mentally incapacitated. With a revocable living trust, the testator’s assets are controlled, owned, and managed by the trust, eliminating the need for a conservatorship proceeding.
Pour-over wills are typically used in conjunction with a revocable living trust. A pour-over will refer to a specific type of will that assists in facilitating the transfer of assets in the event that the testator neglected to transfer all intended assets. Pour-over provisions can integrate the administration of a trust and probate assets.
Benefits of Pour-Over Wills
Carrying out a decedent’s wishes should be of utmost importance, and pour-over wills are another tool to meet this goal. There are many advantages of pour-over wills, including:
- Simplicity: These documents allow an executor to efficiently wrap up a decedent’s estate after death.
- Totality: A pour-over will address all the assets that a testator could not handle or transfer before death.
- Privacy: Pour-over wills are part of a trust and, therefore, do not automatically become public after the testator’s death. They remain more private than will.
- A pour-over will is a critical part of estate planning and can create a safety net that brings peace and certainty to an otherwise emotionally daunting process.
Importance of An Attorney in Creating Pour-Over Wills
In a recent analysis of pour-over wills, researchers examined the use of language in wills and its implications on estate planning. The researchers reviewed over 200 wills and addressed the language used to address “important but obscure topics.” Some seemingly “non-salient” issues were revealed to be critical to a testator’s intent. The researchers suggest that a meaningful discussion with an experienced attorney is crucial to ensuring that the testator’s intention is not haphazardly overridden.
Some crucial issues to discuss with an attorney include:
- Property distribution among multi-generational classes,
- Assigning beneficiaries to address liens on gifted property, and
- Apportioning tax liability among beneficiaries.
The researchers stress the importance of contacting a diligent attorney during the estate-planning process.
Contact a Texas Pour-Over Will Attorney to Schedule a consultation Today
The attorneys at McCulloch Miller, PLLC, take a holistic approach to estate planning, elder law, and other long-term planning matters. We provide clients with respect and autonomy during the estate planning process while ensuring that their documents meet Texas’ evidentiary and statutory standards. In addition to assisting with Texas pour-over wills, our firm handles other estate planning matters such as Medicaid crisis planning, public benefits planning, Houston probate proceedings, and the creation of trusts. We understand the importance of addressing your needs in a prompt and effective manner and make ourselves available at your convenience. Contact our office at 713-903-7879 to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney on our team.