Hello everyone, this is Robert Mansour and today I wanted to make a brief video about a special kind of will that works in conjunction with your living trust. A lot of people ask me, they say, "Well wait a minute, I thought if I have a living trust why do I also need a will?" Sometimes they think it's one or the other, but then I explain to them that there is a special kind over will called a pour-over will.
You see most traditional basic wills essentially go into effect after you die, and they basically says Johnny gets this, Sally gets that, Billy gets this, my cousin Louie gets this. When you have a living trust you're going to have a different kind of will that works with the living trust. What kind of will is it?
It's called a pour-over will. Why do they call it a pour-over will? Think of this type of will as a net that sits under your living trust. Anything that is not in the name of your living trust may end up in court. It may end up outside the trust and therefore subject to the probate court. The first thing the judge wants to see if you got to probate court, is they want to see the will. Why does the judge want to see the will? Because in effect, the will is a letter to the judge. It basically says the following, "Dear Judge, I am dead. This is where I want you to put all my stuff."
Now remember, most wills say Johnny gets this, Sally gets that, et cetera, but the pour-over will does one thing. It says, "Your honor, everything pours over into my living trust," and that's where we get the term pour-over will. Everything pours over as if you're pouring it into your living trust.
If everything is properly titled in the name of your living trust or otherwise, the will is never going to see the light of day. It's going to be a nice tool that sits in your tool box and will never be necessarily used. However, if you do have to go to court your executors going to have your will and your will directs everything to your living trust. It pours over into the living trust.
The reason that you want everything to go to your living trust is because your living trust has all the rules about distributions of your assets. Who gets what and how do they get it and when do they get it and when do they not get it. Once again, that's why people will have a will as well as a living trust, but what you should realize is that it is a special kind of will. It's not a basic standard will, but one called a pour-over will. I hope you found this video to be helpful. My name is Robert Mansour, if I can be of assistance please don't hesitate to contact my office. Thank you very much.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: The next tool in the toolbox is something called the "will". Now, the person in charge of the will is somebody called the executor. Now keep in mind, unlike a living trust a will is only good after you pass away.
It doesn't really do you much good while you're still alive. And the main reason that you have a will in your toolbox is primarily as a backup for the living trust. A backup. So if an asset is not in the trust, you might have to go to the courts- through the court system. Well, if you do the will tells the judge to put everything in your living trust.
Now if everything is in the name of your trust or otherwise properly titled, the will is never really going to be used. It's just going to be one of those tools that sits in the toolbox and it may not even be relevant. But it's nice to have it, and it's important to have it because if something goes wrong and you end up in court, the will is going to become very important.
If you want to learn more about estate planning and how it might help you and your family, please call our office at (661) 414-7100 and inquire about a consultation.
What happens if you die without a will? California law has a plan for you - it's called intestate succession. The word "intestate" refers to the situation when people who die without a will. In most cases, your assets will have to go through the Probate Court system (a judge basically supervises the transfer of your assets). Remember, your assets don't pass to others by magic! This process costs about 5% of the gross estate. Here is the distribution scheme California imposes unless you have a will or a living trust that says otherwise:
1) If you die with children but no spouse, parents, or siblings, then your children inherit everything. If you have minor children, this may not be the best idea.
2) If you die having a spouse but no children, parents, or siblings, then the spouse inherits everything.
3) If you die with parents but no children, spouse, or siblings, then your parents inherit everything.
4) If you die with siblings but no children, spouse, or parents, then your siblings inherit everything.
5) If you die having a spouse and children, the spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 or 1/3 of your separate property, and your children inherit 1/2 or 2/3 of your separate property (depending on number of children you had).
6) If you die with a spouse and parents, your spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 of your separate property, and your parents inherit 1/2 of your separate property.
7) If you die with a spouse and siblings, but no parents, and spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 of your separate property, and your siblings inherit 1/2 of your separate property.
As you can see, California has a plan for you if you don't create one in advance. In many cases, your estate will have to pass through the court system before anyone can inherit anything. Wouldn't it be better if you had this all planned out in advance? Wouldn't it be better to keep the court system out of your business? Wouldn't it be great to protect yourself and your family?
If you need help with your estate plan, please call (661) 414-7100 and inquire about a consultation.
When I meet with clients for the first time, they are often surprised to learn there is so much more to an estate plan than a living trust. They think the living trust IS the estate plan. I explain that the living trust is the main tool of many estate plans, but there are many other tools in the estate planning toolbox. One of the most common tools is the "pour over will" that accompanies the living trust.
Clients ask, "Why do I need this will if I have a trust?" Well, the will is a special kind of will known as a "pour over will." The primary purpose of this kind of will is to serve as a back up to your living trust. If one or more assets are not in the name of your living trust, then probate might be necessary. Probate is the legal process by which the court supervises the transfer of assets. During the probate process, the judge will want to see the will because it simply tells the judge where you want your assets to go. If you have a "pour over will," then your will essentially directs the judge to "pour" all your probate assets into your trust. In other words, your will basically states, "Judge, if I forgot to put one or more of my assets into my trust, please do so." Therefore, if you have a living trust, you will need a pour over will as a back up.
If you want to learn more about estate planning and the legal tools available to protect your family, call (661) 414-7100 to schedule a consultation.
A threshold question I often get is, "What's the difference between a will and a living trust?" In this short segment from SCV Today, Santa Clarita attorney Robert Mansour discusses some major differences between living trusts and wills. A will is basically a letter to the judge that says, "Dear Judge, this is where I want my stuff to go when I die." The court gets involved and basically supervises the transfer of your assets. It is an expensive and public process. Probate court is simply a division of our court system that handles these kinds of matters. Search our website for much more educational information. If you want to set up a consultation, call our office at (661) 414-7100 and/or visit out "Get Started" page.
Some people don't have the money for an estate plan. They ask me what they can do in the meantime. At the very least, they can create an "entry level" will using California's statutory form.
A will has many limitations. However, it might be better than nothing in some cases. The California State Bar has a free will available at its website. http://calbar.org.
If you want to discuss your options, please call me to discuss your estate plan. Perhaps a simple will is not the best thing for you.