There is a misconception that you do not need a will if you create a trust and fund it with all of your assets. While a trust is an important component of an estate plan, it is also a good idea to have a will. A trust alone will not be enough to protect your estate.

In fact, there is a type of will called a pour-over will, which works in conjunction with a revocable trust. While the trustor (the one who created the trust) is alive, he or she may be the trustee and beneficiary, which essentially means the heir to whatever assets are contained in the trust. A pour-over will places any assets into the trust that the trustor failed to transfer during their lifetime. This is a way you can protect your full estate and not leave anything out.

If the trustor dies with any assets not in the trust, and there is no will, those assets get distributed based on Kentucky’s laws.

The importance of an executor

A pour-over will does more than direct the assets of the estate into the trust. Like a regular will, you can include someone as the executor of the estate. According to the Kentucky Court of Justice, the executor is in charge of locating the will, managing the estate during the probate process, paying the taxes and debts of the estate and then transferring the remainder of the estate’s assets to the trust, where the trustee will take over their management.

Although the trust is exempt from the probate process, the estate itself is not. This is why it is so important to include an executor in any type of will, including a pour-over will.