Trusts & Estates

Is A Florida Pour-Over Will Different Than A Regular Will?

Is A Florida Pour-Over Will Different Than A Regular Will?
Is A Florida Pour-Over Will Different Than A Regular Will?

A Florida pour-over will is indeed different than a regular Florida will. The primary difference is that a regular will serves the purpose of instructing the Court as to how to distribute the assets remaining in your estate at the time of your passing. On the other hand, a pour-over will is used only in conjunction with a trust. Therefore, it is not a stand-alone document in the way that a regular Florida will is.

To better understand the difference between these two similar legal documents it helps to understand a bit about how assets are distributed upon one’s passing. Generally, there are three possible scenarios related to the administration of an estate that should be considered including (i) the decedent does have a will at the time of passing; (ii) the decedent has a trust at the time of passing; and (iii) the decedent does not have a will or a trust at the time of passing.

When a person passes with a will, their estate is admitted to probate and the Court administers the estate based on the decedent’s instructions set forth in the will. Similarly, when an individual passes with a trust, the trustee of the trust administers the estate in accordance with the instructions set out by the decedent in the trust. However, unlike the administration of a will, the Court is not involved in the administration of a properly funded trust thereby avoiding probate. Finally, when a person passes without a will or a trust, the estate is administered based upon Florida’s intestacy laws. The word “intestate” simply refers to dying without a will. The important take away here is that a will and a trust accomplish the same objective – administering one’s estate at the time of their passing.

As mentioned above, a pour-over will is only used in conjunction with a trust and becomes operable when there are assets in the grantor’s (the creator of the trust) estate that have not been transferred to the grantor’s trust. In this situation, the pour-over will “pour” those assets into the trust at the time of administration. This can be a great benefit because even though those assets will still have to be probated, the grantor can be assured that those assets will be administered by the Court in accordance with the terms of the trust, rather than be administered pursuant to Florida’s intestacy laws.

If you’re thinking about Florida Estate Planning, contact your West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorneys at the Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC @ 561.699.0399. We are located in Lantana Florida, we serve South Florida.

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