Many people choose revocable living trusts instead of a traditional will. They give more protection to the assets you own. While they will not protect them from creditors as you can with an irrevocable trust, they avoid details of the assets being disclosed to the public when you die.
You also avoid those assets having to go through probate, which can delay how long it takes for them to get into the hands of your beneficiaries.
If you are thinking about using a revocable living trust, then you should also create a pour-over will. Here is why:
A pour-over will mops up any assets you forgot to mention
Let’s say you set up a revocable living trust today. You fund it with your current assets, or at least the ones you remember you have. If you live for a while longer, you will probably acquire more assets. You can and should revise your estate plan every year or so to ensure you account for all these assets, yet many people forget.
A pour-over will account for this possibility. It gathers up anything else you own when you die and pours it into the trust you created. Or rather, it gives your executor the necessary instructions and legal permission to do this. Your revocable living trust automatically becomes an irrevocable trust on your death, and the executor then handles everything it now contains per the instructions you wrote.
Will contests can be ugly affairs, and they are far more likely if you leave assets unaccounted for. By creating a pour-over will, you ensure everything is accounted for. Consider legal help to find out more about this and other estate planning options.