If you want to direct how your property will be disposed and distributed at your death, you need a will.
The most common type of will is a “simple” will. Typically, a simple will directs that after all the taxes and all the debts are paid, any remaining property is given to the surviving spouse. But, if the spouse is not alive, then the property is typically given to the children through the will.
Another common type of will is a “pour-over” will. It is important to remember that this type of will must be used in combination with a trust. It basically provides that if there is any property not already transferred to or owned by the person’s trust at the time of their death, then the property should be transferred or “poured-over” into the trust and not to any individuals such as the spouse or children.
This is because the trust is already providing for the spouse and children.
And just in case a trust is not in existence, pour-over wills frequently include basic instructions for the creation of a trust.
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Reece B. Morrel, Jr. is a Lawyer, MBA, CPA, CGMA, AEP®, and award-winning author. He is the founder of Morrel Law PLLC, a law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has personally worked on several multi·million dollar engagements involving tax, estate planning, elder law, business law, and accounting services. Mr. Morrel has consulted with clients and other professionals around the country. He is the author of the Lady Luck Gambling Diary: Slot Machine Edition.