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Offered by Michael A. Dolan – Dolan & Associates, P.C.

People often ask, “What is the best type of estate plan?” A Will or a living trust? In order to determine what is best in your situation, you should understand more about your options.

There are four core types of estate plans. The first is the government’s plan. If you do not take steps to put a plan in place, the government has a default plan for all of those procrastinators who do nothing. The state determines who receives your property, who will be your executor, and the court process that your heirs will go through after your death.

The second type of estate plan is a plan that uses beneficiary designations to transfer assets on your death. Placing beneficiary designations on your assets will direct those assets to your heirs after death. Unfortunately, some assets do not allow for beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations also override the instructions you leave in a Will or a living trust.

The third type of estate plan is a plan that is designed to use the probate process. These plans use a Will to provide the instructions for the division of property. Many plans unintentionally end up in the probate process. The probate process can also be used to establish protections for minor and disabled beneficiaries.

The fourth type of estate plan is a properly implemented living trust plan. This type of plan is designed to avoid the probate process and allow your estate to be administered in a private manner without the involvement of the court.

You should consider when, how, and what you want to leave your heirs; the time, effort, and resources you are willing to devote to your plan during your life and the benefits and shortcomings of each type of plan. Then you can choose which of the four types of plans will work best for you.

If you would like to learn more about an alternative estate planning process that is producing great results for families, visit: to sign up for a complimentary educational workshop.

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Dolan & Associates | Estate Plans