Today, April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). So what does that mean?  According to the webpage of the Conversation Project (National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) — April 16), the group that manages the NHDD, the purpose of the NHDD is to “encourage and empower people to begin or continue conversations about their wishes for care through the end of life.” We at Frankel, Rubin, Klein, Payne & Pudlowski, P.C. believe this is a great idea and want to help you participate. Why today? Because Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying “[I]n this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Therefore, you should do your taxes each year by the 15th and review your health care wishes each year on the 16th.

The first place to start is the Conversation Project itself, they have lots of resources to explore. On the “Get Started” page on their website, they have a guidebook on how to start this very conversation with your family, resources for those that are chosen to make decisions on behalf of you , and a workbook for individuals processing a recent diagnosis with a serious illness.

If you are just getting started with the topic of Healthcare decisions, we recommend that you read up on the documents involved and we have many resources right here on our website. From an explanation of each document and what they mean (Planning for Healthcare is an Important Part of your Estate Plan) to more in-depth discussions of naming someone to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself (Do You Need a Power of Attorney?) and spelling out your specific directives for medical care at end of life (What’s a Living Will?).

What happens if you don’t do this planning and have this conversation? Well, that is well documented in our blogs as well:

  1. Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s Story (and how to avoid conservatorship).
  2. Wendy Williams’ Guardianship

We understand that these discussions are not easy, we have them every day with out clients. Our advice to you is to start the conversation, you may be surprised at where it takes you. If you need more help or want to discuss next steps, please call our attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri, we are here to help.

Reference: The Conversation Project “National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD)”