Yours, Mine, and Ours: How a Pour-Over Trust may simplify your Estate Planning

Some married couples look at their property and financial accounts as “yours, mine, and ours,” especially if they are a blended family, married later in life, or either spouse brought significant financial obligations or assets to the relationship. Deciding how these assets should be distributed to your heirs can be a huge undertaking. To help you avoid some of the related stress, we often suggest a unique estate planning tool, commonly referred to as a pour-over trust.

What is a joint pour-over trust?

A joint pour-over trust holds the joint property belonging to you and your spouse. You can both serve as trustees, and the trust can be created together. At the time one of you passes away, half of the joint trust’s assets can be distributed to the decedent’s separate trust, and the other half is distributed to the surviving spouse’s separate trust.

Does this mean that we will need three trusts?

For your estate plan to work as intended, you might need three trusts. That’s because property owned jointly will go into your joint pour-over trust, while property owned separately will funnel into your own separate trusts. This way, you can provide separate instructions to deal with the distribution of the property you own, regardless of whether it is owned jointly or separately.
Also, because property is distributed to the respective individual trusts, there is nothing more for the joint pour-over trust to do once one of you passes away. Because of this, no extended administration is usually necessary after the first death

What are some other benefits of a joint pour-over trust?

Having joint and separate accounts or property doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t carry out your estate plan as you wish. Together, we’ll assess what you own – and how you own it, then talk about what should happen to your assets after you pass away. Call us anytime at 904-552-4008, or visit us online at, and together we can craft a plan that works for you, your spouse, and your loved ones.
Have questions? Call us, we’re available 24/7 to speak with you and help you get started.
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