Four Key Estate Planning Documents for Almost Everyone


Dear Fellow Investors and Friends,

As I approached a recent surgery and the testing that preceded it, I was asked numerous times if I had the documents listed below or would like information about them. I sheepishly had to admit that I knew about them but had yet to complete some of them. I needed to move quickly since the hospital likes to keep the medical forms in your record in case they are needed. (They destroy them once you are released.) In light of my experience, I thought it would be helpful to pass this information along to you.

Estate planning is the process of managing and preserving your assets while you are alive, and conserving and controlling their distribution after your death. It should be considered a part of your overall financial plan because it is an essential element of ensuring the best possible future for your loved ones.

There are four key estate planning documents that almost everyone should have:

A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to authorize someone to act on your behalf to handle your financial matters (e.g., pay bills, oversee investments, file taxes) in the event that you become physically or mentally unable to do so.

Advance Medical Directives include a Medical Durable Power of Attorney that authorizes someone else to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so; a Living Will states whether you do or do not wish to receive life-sustaining treatment if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition or if you are in a persistent vegetative state; and a CPR Directive (or Do Not Resuscitate) which is a directive not to perform CPR if you go into cardiac arrest.

A Will gives instructions about the distribution of your property according to your wishes, as well as names an executor and guardian for minor children. This is a formal legal document that is filed with the court and eventually becomes part of the public record in a process known as probate.

A Letter of Instruction is an informal, nonlegal document that generally accompanies your will and expresses your wishes about what’s in your will, details about your burial, personal thoughts, the locations of important documents, and any other items you’d like to include.

These descriptions are general and are not meant as any sort of legal advice. The names, terms, rules, and requirements are different in each state, and you must determine what the specifics are in your state. The help of a qualified attorney should always be sought to ensure that your estate documents meet the legal requirements of your state; however, there are a number of helpful information sources and state-approved forms available on the internet.

ADF always strives to provide helpful investment opportunities that provide a good, stable financial return, as well as a Kingdom Return on Investment (KROI). Many of us have ADF investments that may someday be left to the next generations. We hope that you will consider how you can pass on the legacy of KROI investing so that Alliance ministries will continue to be supported after we are gone.

Thank you for your ongoing investments in Alliance churches through ADF. Please share your questions, comments, or prayer requests by contacting me at They are always welcome.

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA President

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA

Larry McCooey