Make Your Decisions

Step 2: Make Your Decisions

The second step in giving the Gift of Planning is to make and document your end-of-life choices. Who will serve as your healthcare agent? You will need someone to make decisions about your care if you are not able to do so yourself.

What life-sustaining treatments do you want to receive at the end of your life? You can record your wishes by completing and signing a healthcare advance directive document.

Healthcare Advance Directives
Healthcare advance directives provide guidance to medical personnel regarding which treatments you do or do not wish to receive at the end of your life. Without healthcare directives, medical personnel are required to administer all the standard life-saving procedures. Advance directives include: life-prolonging treatments, pain management, the Do Not Intubate order, and the Do Not Resuscitate order.

Download advance directive documents for your state.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A durable power of attorney for healthcare allows you to choose someone to act as your agent and make healthcare decisions for you if you’re not able to do it yourself. Your agent can be authorized to select a physician or other health professional and have access to your medical records. You agent can also decide whether or not you will receive a specific medical treatment. It’s wise to have at least one back-up agent in case your first choice is not available.

Download a Universal Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare that is accepted in 45 states.
Download a durable power of attorney document specifically for your state.

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Planning Advice
How to Plan

Step 1: Start the Conversation
Step 3: Communicate your wishes