The Conversation Project created a 50-state initiative to bring awareness to advance care planning. This initiative is called National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). National Healthcare Decision Day runs from April 16th to 22nd every year with “a key goal to demystify healthcare decision-making and make the topic of advance care planning inescapable.”

The main goal of National Healthcare Decision Day is to bring up the topic now rather than later so you can make an informed, proactive choice. They encourage everyone to discuss their health care wishes while they can.

How does National Healthcare Decision Day impact you? It encourages all of us to think about the crucial questions tied to your estate planning that often get overlooked when we are thinking about leaving money to heirs. These questions include:

  • Deciding how you want end of life decisions handled
  • Choosing a decision maker to implement your choices when and if the time comes
  • Authorizing someone to gain access to your private healthcare information
  • Selecting the right agent who has time to care for you if you become incapacitated
  • Finding and working with an estate planning attorney to make sure your documents are valid in California under the current law
  • Identifying where you have questions and obtaining guidance to answer them
  • Talking to your decision makers about your choices so they are not blindsided

It’s not enough to think about your healthcare decisions, you need to act.  Start by making a list of what you want for your healthcare decisions if you were no longer able to voice your opinions yourself. Have you sat down and communicated with your friends and family about your wishes? Most importantly, have you completed your advance directives with a California attorney?

You may think “I’m too young to think that far ahead.” There is no telling, however, if and when something may happen that will not allow you to make decisions for yourself anymore. The time is now! Protect yourself and your family members by asking those around you if they have created estate planning surrounding their wishes as well.

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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community about estate planning and how to protect what matters most.

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