On its program The Daily Circuit, MPR recently discussed “Preparing your end of life plan”. The guest highlighted the importance of this type of planning from his perspective as a physician and health policy expert. He also noted the cultural barriers to discussions of death, which can make us put off this type of planning – paralleling my previous post. Even though these are difficult discussions to have, they are extremely important especially as technology improves and there are more decisions to be made, for example to allow for a natural death. As an integral part of an Estate Plan, I walk clients through preparing a Health Care Directive providing instructions to loved ones and caregivers.

Health Care Directives can include a variety of information depending on what is important to you, such as burial or cremation preference, religious views surrounding death, hopes and fears for health care, wishes for treatment or discontinuing life support. This step can ensure that you receive the care that you desire and also help loved ones know that any decisions they make are in line with your values. The importance of end-of-life planning is widely recognized, and is part of the estate planning package that I provide to my clients to ensure that your loved ones are able to carry out your wishes and to ease their burden as much as possible.