A “Will” is a legal instrument which contains the legal declaration of a person’s intentions that the person wills to be performed after his or her death. A will may specifically be used to effect the transfer of the testator’s property on the testator’s death to persons selected by the testator to receive the property, to leave directions respecting the disposition of the testator’s remains, to exercise a testamentary power of appointment, to nominate an executor, and to nominate a guardian for the testator’s minor children, if applicable. However, it should be noted that one of the goals of an estate plan is to avoid “probating” your will. In the lengthy, court-supervised probate process, your will is proven to be valid and your executor is appointed to administer your estate. Avoiding probate would allow your heirs to avoid the trouble and expense of such a proceeding.
Another type of Will is referred to as a “Pour-Over Will.” Unlike the will discussed above, a Pour-Over Will is used in conjunction with a revocable living trust and, at the testator’s demise, it “pours” all the assets belonging to the testator into the revocable living trust setup by the testator during his or her lifetime. The purpose of a Pour-Over Will is to guarantee that assets that were not funded into the trust will be ultimately transferred into the trust and be distributed according to the trustor’s intentions without being submitted to the probate process.