Pour-Over Will Template

All states | 3 types
Pour Over Will Page 1
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Updated Feb 9, 2024
~ 2 pages
A pour over will is typically used in conjunction with a trust. It declares that any assets not already included in the trust at the time of the drafter's death will automatically be transferred, or 'poured over', into the trust. Download this free form and fill it out using our guidelines below without stress.
This template is available in one format.
Document Types
Codicil to Will
A codicil indicates a change in the direction of the initial last will & testament.
Last Will and Testament
A will outlines how you wish to distribute your assets and property after death.
Paper titled "Pour Over Will"; man and woman talking and standing by LAW books and Themis

A pour over will is an essential legal document that is typically used in conjunction with a trust, and it declares that any assets not already included in the trust at the time of the drafter's death will automatically be transferred, or 'poured over', into the trust. It serves as a safety net to catch any assets that were not transferred to the trust during the drafter's lifetime, ensuring that those assets will be distributed according to the terms set forth in the trust.

It's crucial, however, to understand that a pour over will does not replace the need for a properly funded trust. This is merely a backup plan, offering additional assurance for the effective execution of estate plans. For instance, a pour over will sample can provide a crucial reference for drafting your document.

When to Use a Pour Over Will

A pour-over will is typically used when an individual has established a trust and desires that any remaining assets not included in the trust at the time of their death be transferred to the said trust. 

For instance, a pour-over will example will show that any assets acquired after the creation of the trust but before the individual's death are directed to the trust and not dispersed based on intestacy laws. 

A sample pour over will document is also particularly useful in situations where the deceased owned property in multiple states. In such cases, rather than undergoing arduous probate processes in each state, the pour over will form, once validated, transfers all the properties to the trust, thus avoiding multiple probate processes.


  • Testator — This is the individual, also known as the will-maker, who drafts and signs the pour-over will sample. The testator lists any assets to be transferred to an already established trust in the event of their death. It is the testator's objective to ensure any assets not included within the trust are still distributed according to their wishes. To verify this, the testator signs the will in the presence of witnesses, thus rendering the will legally binding.

  • Executor — This is the person named in the will by the testator to manage the estate after death. The executor's duties may include gathering and managing the assets, paying any debts or taxes, and eventually distributing the remaining assets to the trust as directed by the pour over will. This person plays a paramount role in ensuring the testator's final intentions are followed accurately. The appointment of an executor in an example of a pour-over will should be considered thoughtfully and expressed clearly to avoid potential disputes.

  • Beneficiaries — These are individuals or organizations, as listed in the trust, who will receive the assets from the pourover will sample upon the death of the testator. Beneficiaries could be family members, friends, charities, or other entities. The role of the beneficiaries is to receive assets as dictated by the terms set forth in the trust rather than directly from the will. It is a key aspect that differentiates this document from a standard will. Therefore, it's critical for beneficiaries to understand the full context of how the pour over will example operates in conjunction with the trust.

Key Terms

  • Trust: A setup that enables an intermediary party, known as a trustee, to manage assets for the advantage of beneficiaries.
  • Executor: This is the individual appointed in the will to carry out the directives in the will.
  • Testamentary Trust: A trust established by a will that comes into effect when the will-maker dies.
  • Probate: A legal process wherein the will is reviewed to determine its authenticity and validity.
  • Intestate: This term refers to dying without a legal will.

How to Write a Pour Over Will

A pour over will is a vital legal instrument that ensures any assets not included in your trust at the time of your demise are transferred, or 'poured over', into the said trust. Many online platforms offer free pour over will templates that can be tailored to your specific needs, or alternatively, you can seek the assistance of an experienced legal professional.

Here's how to draft a pour over will PDF, whether for yourself or somebody else:

  1. Provide specific information, including your full legal name and address. 
  2. Indicate an executor who will ensure the directives in your will are carried out.
  3. State all details of the beneficiaries who will be inheriting the assets.
  4. Make sure to declare the document as your pour over will. 
  1. Identify the name of the trust to which the assets will be transferred to after the drafter's death.
  2. State that the pour over will is governed by state or federal laws that are applicable to the distribution of assets.
  3. Establish that the drafter's assets, which were not included in the trust, will be 'poured over' into the said trust upon the drafter's death.
  4. Indicate any specific personal items or properties not initially included in the trust but which should be added to the trust upon the drafter's death.
  5. Prepare additional details, such as specific guidelines or processes, that might need to be followed for the effective execution of the pour over will.
  6. State how the document will be recorded and who will handle that process.

Every concerned party should scrutinize the document, along with legal counsel, to protect their interests. Remember that reaching a prior agreement on crucial components, such as the process for asset transfer or recording steps, is critical to ensuring the smooth execution of the pour over will.

In conclusion, a pour over will is a crucial estate planning tool that ensures any remaining or newly acquired assets at the time of death are transferred according to your wishes and not distributed by a court. Its advantages in offering seamless control, privacy, and averting probate make it irreplaceable. Tailoring your own document should be done with serious thought, precaution, and, ideally, legal guidance. It's also worth noting that a pour over will template is available and beneficial for individuals who prefer a more structured document.