Published January, 2005

Consumer's Toolkit for Health Care Advance Planning, American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (2005)

This toolkit was created for those who are thinking of making a health care advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, or who have already signed one. It does not create a formal advance directive for the user, but instead helps the user discover, clarify, and communicate what is important to the user in the face of serious illness. A written advance directive is more effective if it is supported by: (1) informed, thoughtful reflection about the individual’s wishes and values, and (2) personal communication between the individual and his or her likely decision-makers before a crisis occurs. The tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources to accomplish these goals.