If I have a Trust in New Jersey, do I also need a Will?
Posted on Tue Mar 31, 2015, on Revocable Trusts and Living Trusts
From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: The Pour Over Will – a Compliment to Revocable Living Trusts
Most Recently Updated July 14, 2018.
“I am a resident of Atlantic County, New Jersey. If I have recently formed a Revocable Living Trust, and moved all my New Jersey assets into the trust, do I still need a Will?”
The Pour Over Will – a Compliment to Revocable Living Trusts
If the goal in forming your Revocable Living Trust was to avoid probate, then you must either transfer all your assets that would otherwise be Probate Assets into the trust during your lifetime or have them pour into the Revocable Trust at your death. That is often done by using a Payable on Death Account or naming the Trust as Beneficiary.
If all goes as planned, there is no need to file a Will with the Surrogate’s office as there is no longer a Probate Estate. But, we are all human, and it is possible you will forget to set up an account at your death to pour into the Revocable Trust.
What We Do!
This is why all of my clients with Revocable Living Trusts also have what we call a “Pour Over Will”. A Pour Over Will is a Will that simply names an executor and says that any Probate Assets that exist at your death “Pour” into your Revocable Trust. If everything is set up correctly, this Will is never filed as there is no Probate Assets.
The Pour Over Will also serves an important purpose in case you die in an accident. If a lawsuit need be filed, the Executor you have named in the Pour Over Will is authorized to file the Will for litigation purposes (less expensive) and pursue the case. If successful, any recovery “pours into” the Revocable Living Trust.
More Planning Questions?
The pour over will is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: The Pour Over Will – a Compliment to Revocable Living Trusts
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how a pour over will compliments a trust. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!
Tags:Atlantic County, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Living Trust, New Jersey, Revocable Trust, Wills