It's Time to Get Your End-of-Life Planning in Order

In less than 6 months time, we will be celebrating National Health Care Decisions Day.  Have you heard about National Healthcare Decisions Day?

It's the day selected for everyone to join in the conversation about end-of-life planning and utlimately planning for death.  So mark your calendars for April 16, 2015! 

Ironically, this collaborative conversation comes just one day after April 15 - the dreaded "tax due" date. We all know that there are two certainties in this world- death and taxes!

Are you wondering what exactly happens on National Healthcare Decisions Day?  First, please watch this great video

This day is marked to collectively "inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning".  NHDD is an open and collaberative movement.  You can register to participate as an organization and as individauls, you can become a "State Liasion".

Why is end-of-life planning so important and what is an advance directive?  Imagine that you are unable to speak for yourself when you come face to face with making a difficult healthcare choice.  Who do you want to appoint to speak on your behalf?  Do you realize that unless you have executed an advanced care directive, those critical healthcare decisions may be made by someone who does not know your wishes or might even choose to do something that is against your wishes. 

According to the NHDD website, there are two forms of advance directives: 

  1. A "healthcare power of attorney" (or "proxy" or "agent" or "surragate") documents the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.
  2. A "living will" documents what kinds of medical tratements you would or would not want at the end of life.

End-of-life planning and planning for death are the greatest gifts you can give yourself and to your loved ones.  Don't wait for April 16, 2015 to roll around to get your advance directives done. Be sure to provide your physician with a copy. Take care of your end-of-life planning now...just in case.