“Must-haves” to include in your advance care plan

Ready to create your advance care plan?

Your plan won’t be the same as anyone else’s plan, but there are some “must-haves” that every plan should include:

A record of your values, beliefs and wishes for your health and personal care that you explored in our 3 Simple Steps: Think, Talk, Plan.

The name and contact information of your substitute decision maker- that is the person who  you would trust to make health and personal care decisions for you, if you weren’t able to make them for yourself. Include the names and contact information for people on your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker List. You can include notes on people who would not be eligible on your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker List.

A way to record and share your plan (be sure to share it with those you trust – your family, friends and medical providers). You can make an audio recording, make a list, record a video or write a letter to your family. See examples here of how people recorded their wishes


Don’t expect to complete your plan in one sitting; you’ll consider some big questions in this process, so take your time and come back to it as often as you need.

We have a workbook  and checklist that can help you stay focused. It might be useful to keep a notebook handy as you work through the steps.

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