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An essential part of planning for your wishes at life’s end is to have honest conversations with yourself, family, and friends.

One of the most important decisions is selecting a durable power of attorney for healthcare, or a healthcare agent. Consider the following:

AskSelf

Where to Begin?

The first step to advance planning is to have conversations with yourself and others.

  • Start by having an honest conversation with yourself. What’s important to you right now, in this season of life?
  • Consider how your bucket list or life goals may influence your medical wishes.
  • Articulate key considerations that should guide any decisions about your future medical treatment.
  • Visit with your physician or another trusted professional about any questions or concerns you might have about end-of-life choices.
  • Ask your family and friends if they have thought about end-of-life decisions. If this conversation is met with resistance, it’s okay!
    You may be surprised that your invitation to engage this topic is accepted at a later date.

Your consideration of these items helps set the stage for the completion of an advance directive.
So, pat yourself on the back for taking the first step. Most folks wait until there is a medical emergency to think about these topics which only heightens the stress of decision-making.

Choosing "Your Person"

If your life were a movie, how would you write “The End”? Who would you cast as the director?A durable power of attorney for healthcare (DPAHC) is just that — the person(s) you designate to make healthcare decisions, including end-of-life care, if you are unable to communicate them to a doctor.

  • The individuals you choose will speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself.
  • They will carry out the expressed medical desires, even if it differs from their own wishes.

When choosing your healthcare agent, pick someone:

  • Who knows you well
  • Who you can trust
  • Who respects your wishes
  • Who can make difficult decisions under stress
  • Who will honor your wishes, even if they’re different from their own

Starting the Conversation

It can be difficult to initiate conversations about death and dying, especially if you’re currently healthy. However, honest discussions are vital in making informed decisions before a crisis occurs.

It’s not hard to find a time to talk with others about end-of-life planning. Take advantage of the quiet time afforded by a road trip or walk in the park.

Use the resources we provide to spark conversations. From books and podcasts to films and web resources, BucketList +1 empowers you to engage others and break down barriers to advance planning.