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What is a Pour-Over Will in Florida, and is There a Risk of Conflicts?


Pour-over Wills are like other Wills, except they have only one beneficiary, which is a Living Trust. Essentially, the will “pours” your property over into a pre-arranged Trust upon your death. Your assets will be distributed according to the Trust’s plan. Your pour-over Will works in concert with your Revocable Trust. If the pour-over Will is not executed correctly, it can open the door to disputes between potential beneficiaries.

When any conflict arises that’s related to trusts and/or probate administration of an estate, you need to speak with an experienced Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation attorney who can help. At Mark R. Manceri, P.A., we focus on litigation related to Trusts, Wills, and probate conflicts. Let us review your situation and work towards a swift resolution.

Advantages of a Pour-Over Will

Even when you have a living trust, you may not end up transferring everything entirely into it. If you create the will, form the Trust, but never transfer any assets into it, then the trust is not likely to prevail in the case of estate litigation. The pour-over Will can take care of any assets that you have forgotten about.

An executor’s role is typically straightforward in these situations. The Personal Representative usually needs to pay taxes and debts and then distribute assets during probate. With a pour-over Will, the Personal Representative will just need to put the assets of the pour-over Will into the Living Trust.

Pour-Over Wills aren’t Necessarily Ideal for Disinheriting a Beneficiary

Some people think a pour-over Will is an ideal solution for avoiding legal conflicts if you don’t want a disinherited beneficiary to know what is happening with your Eestate. Trusts are private documents, while wills are filed publicly. However, if there is any forgotten property that must pass through probate, the Court could require the estate’s personal representative to file the Trust document with the Court. This defeats the purpose of trying to keep your estate private.

For example, you own a vacation home in another part of Florida. You did not put that property into the Trust that your pour-over Will is connected to, nor is it included in your Will. That means a child that you have been estranged from for 20 years could end up owning it.

Attempting to disinherit a beneficiary can be tricky. There could be multiple conflicts that arise when you pass away. That can result in the need for an experienced Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation attorney. Florida law preserves the rights of certain family members, like a spouse or children, from being disinherited entirely in certain situations. They may have a right to make a claim for assets, even if your will indicates something different.

Contact a Florida Estate and Trust Litigation Attorney

Pour-over Wills can act as a safety net when an estate plan is drafted correctly. In situations where it fails, the door can be opened for multiple conflicts. If you need assistance with a probate or trust dispute, contact a Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation attorney at the office of Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.


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