Is "I give all my property" a pour over will clause?

"I give all of my property to the trustee(s) of the [HUSBAND AND WIFE Revocable Trust], created under the declaration of trust by [HUSBAND] AND [WIFE], as Settlors and Trustees. " Does this include assets like automobiles, homes, bank/investment/brokerage belonging only to the HUSBAND (meaning not held jointly), and not yet directly added as part of the trust. Does this constitute or substitute for a pour over will?

Santa Clara, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Mary Lynn Symons

Mary Lynn Symons

Trusts Attorney - San Rafael, CA

I assume that HUSBAND is the decedent or that you are asking what happens on HUSBAND's death. In answer to your question, the language you quoted is language that would be found in a pour-over will. It does cover assets of the type you state held in HUSBAND's name alone (your fact) as long as there is no pay on death beneficiary.

I recommend that you speak with an attorney to assist you with the probate, if one is required. Depending on the value of the assets, they may be able to be collected by an affidavit.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Trusts Attorney - Livonia, MI

I agree that this would normally be language that would be included in a Will. I am concerned that this language is NOT in the Will, however, and might be included in the trust. If that is the case, you will not be able to avoid probate for these assets, and if there is not a Will that has this kind of provision in it, then the assets will not be transferred to the trust and will not go to the beneficiaries that are supposed to receive them.

If you are trying to avoid probate, then you need to actually transfer title to the trust or set things up in such a way that title otherwise passes automatically upon death to the trust or beneficiaries. Otherwise, probate will be required.

If this was not set up by an attorney, it should have been. I would take all of the documents to an estate planning attorney and have them reviewed to make sure what exactly you have, and what, if anything needs to be done. If your husband is already deceased, then it may be too late to make any changes to HIS estate plan. The effect of what he has is something you would need to address with the attorney.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more
Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Estate Planning Attorney - Largo, FL

I would agree that the standard clause in a pour over will would include all assets in just the name of husband and would in effect be left to the wife as owner of everything in the joint trust.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more

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