Protect Your Wealth Worksheet

Aaron Ammerman |

Planning your estate helps you protect and allocate your wealth so that loved ones receive as much as possible. It also helps ensure you and your wealth are handled according to your wishes if you become incapacitated.

We recommend working with a financial professional, attorney and tax professional to set up your estate plan. Your personal circumstances, including the size of your wealth, where you live and what you want to do with your assets, will help determine the right strategy for you.


Assemble these important documents:

  • Last will and testament: express your wishes about your property after death and who will manage the distribution of your estate (your executor).
  • Durable power of attorney: designates another person to represent your monetary interests and act on your behalf.
  • Medical power of attorney: designates someone else to make health care and medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to.
  • Advance directive: communicates prearranged medical decisions if you are unable to.
  • Patient authorization: authorizes a healthcare provider to disclose health and personal information to those whom you appoint to take care of you.
  • Appointment of agent to control disposition of remains: appoints who controls your remains.
  • Declaration of guardian: names a person who will be the guardian of your person and/or estate in the event of your incapacity or disability.

Other items to consider:

  • Understand probate and its implications. Certain states have different taxation rules. Know yours.
  • Assign your professional team, and ensure both you and they understand the role they play:
    • Power of attorney
    • Executor
    • Trustee
    • Guardian
  • Make sure you keep all of your documents in a safe place and tell someone you trust where they are located.
  • Coordinate account registrations and beneficiary designations to align with your estate plan.
  • Educate your survivors on the estate plan.
  • Write love letters. Once written, file them away with important documents so that they can be found when needed. Here are some ideas to help get you started: –
    • What has it meant to you to be your child’s parent? To be your significant other’s spouse?
    • Name special attributes of each family member.
    • Share an important piece of advice or life truth.