Death finds us all eventually. We can’t prevent that. But we can direct how we’d like our final days to unfold. Advance planning is key — making thoughtful choices now, putting them into a written advance directive and discussing those choices with others. Advance planning helps ensure that we get the care we want and avoid what we don’t want, even if we’re unable to speak for ourselves.

End of Life decisions guide coverAbout the Advance Planning Guide 

Like many people, you may have put off making decisions about your end-of-life care. Thinking and talking about end-of-life issues can be difficult, and putting documents in place can seem daunting. That’s why we have developed this advance planning guide.

The guide will help you think through your priorities for end-of-life care, complete an advance directive and other forms you may need, choose a representative to speak for you if you cannot, and consider common end-of-life medical interventions so you can specify what you want or don’t want — right up to the end. And it will guide you in having valuable conversations with your healthcare providers and loved ones.

Table of Contents

Getting Started: What Matters Most to You?

Putting Priorities on Paper: Your Advance Directive

What I Want: Decisions About Life-Sustaining Measures

What I Want: Other Documents That Spell Out Your Choices

Who Will Speak For Me: Choosing Your Representative

Putting Plans Into Practice: Ensuring that Medical Providers Honor Your Wishes

The Best Safeguard: A Continuing Conversation

Advance Planning Toolkit