Last week, The New York Times ran a piece called “Help for Planning End of Life Care.” The blog post, by Paula Span, discusses a new website called Prepare, which is to help people prepare for their death and communicate their end of life wishes to their loved ones.
Here at Epilawg, we have talked often about the basics of an estate plan, which includes a Health Care Directive. In Minnesota, a Health Care Directive is a form where you can nominate a health care agent to make medical decisions when you are unable to speak for yourself. Also within the the Health Care Directive, you can write what your wishes are for a variety of particular situations.
The Prepare website appears designed to help foster communication among you and loved ones as to what your end of life decisions are. The thought is, the forms themselves, like Minnesota's Health Care Directive, do not encourage communication and discussion.
Therefore, whether you utilize a Health Care Directive (which everyone should have!) or choose to use this Prepare website, make sure in all instances to let your loved ones know what your decisions are and where to find the completed forms so that they know how to honor your wishes when the time comes.
Be sure to contact an estate planning attorney in your area for specific questions regarding a Health Care Directive or other types of advance directives. And always keep in mind, Epilawg provides a free Health Care Directive for Minnesota residents.