Learn about our Advance Care Planning Workshops Below ...
Prepare to speak up about the things that are important to you.
For many people, end-of-life takes them by surprise. The way we die can be as unique as the way we live, so it’s worth thinking through your options in advance. It’s also important to communicate your wishes to someone who you trust to honor them and help carry them out.
Important Words to Know:
An Advance Directive, also known as a Living Will, is a document that communicates your end-of-life wishes and related medical treatments. In this document, you detail what kinds of treatments you would and would not want at the time.
Prepare to help family and friends to be your advocate.
An important part of planning is choosing a “health care agent.” This is a person who will carry out your wishes and make decisions when you are no longer able to do so. Your agent should be someone whom you trust and on whom you can depend.
Once you know who your agent will be, the next and most important step is to have a conversation with them about your wishes for end of life care. (Please refer to the Wonder section of this package for ideas on how to get the conversation started!)
Important Words To Know:
After determining your agent, you’ll need to fill out a Health Care Proxy Form (also known as a Durable Medical Power of Attorney). This varies per state. In California and New York, the Health Care Proxy Form is included in Advance Health Care Directives. This officially appoints your agent to carry out your wishes and allows them to communicate your wishes if you aren’t able to speak for yourself.
Prepare for what you want to leave behind.
After you die, you’ll leave behind a legacy through memories, objects, photos and words. When planning what to leave behind, there are a couple things you might want to prepare. You may want to write up a will, compile important documents, pass on important objects, and record significant stories.
Important Words To Know:
A will is a document that details how your belongings and assets will be distributed. If you don’t have a “formal” will, a handwritten (or “holographic”) will is legally binding. Without a will, the state will decide who among your domestic partners and relatives receives your assets; friends, unregistered domestic partners, and charities are not eligible to receive assets in this case.
After Gifting is the practice of creating something while you are alive - objects, gifts, or other items - meant to be given to people after you die (e.g. a map of your favorite places). Also consider leaving a letter or some other expression of your story and values for those who love you. What might you start on today?