Advance Care Planning: What You Should Know
What are they key steps in Advance Care Planning?
The process of considering and documenting your healthcare preferences is called advance care planning. Everyone should have a plan, which could include:
- A discussion with those likely to be there when your need arises (family, caregiver, physician, close friends).
- A statement of expressed wishes for future healthcare will assist your decision maker in making plans or knowing what to do for end of life decisions in case you cannot express yourself at the time.
- A Representation Agreement
- A Power of Attorney
- A Will
- An Advance Directive if you have decided not to rely on others to make decisions for you
How to Create your Advance Care Plan:
BC Notaries are professionally trained and have extensive experience in helping clients develop advance care plans and recommend the following approach:
- Inform yourself about options and decisions. It starts with a conversation and some self education. It's not hard and it doesn't have to cost a lot. You can gather information from several excellent resources:
- Decide how decisions will be made if you can't make them.
- Next, have a conversation with your physician so you understand how certain key decisions could affect you, considering your personal health conditions.
- Have another conversation with those family members who you want to be involved in your future care planning. Or ask a close friend if they will fill this role for you and make a Representation Agreement. You may also want to discuss available resources for future care needs.
- Your local Notary can help you decide what should be in your Advance Care Plan and then put everything together in writing to ensure you’ve fully considered and clarified your decisions.
To find a Notary near you, visit www.notaries.bc.ca.