April 20, 2016 – Now’s the time to plan ahead; don’t keep loved ones in the dark about your end-of-life wishes.
An estimated 80 percent of Wisconsin residents, including 50 percent of those with severe or terminal illnesses, have not completed an advance directive documenting their preferences about issues surrounding end-of-life decisions, according to State Bar of Wisconsin Elder Law Section Adviser Ben Adams.
To help start the conversation – with your clients as well as your family members – download the State Bar of Wisconsin’s end-of-life planning guide, A Gift to Your Family: Planning Ahead for Future Health Needs.
The guide is newly updated and available for free downloading through April 29 in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, which took place April 16.
Control Future Decisions
Under Wisconsin law, competent adults have the right to control decisions about their future medical care, including the right to accept or refuse treatment, and the right to be an organ and tissue donor. A Gift to Your Family offers practical insights on a range of issues surrounding end-of-life decisions, such as power of attorney for health care, living wills, and organ and tissue donation. The guide also includes state forms to help people put their wishes in writing.
Finding a medical decision maker, and ensuring that they know you and your values is the key to successful end-of-life planning. It’s also the core message in a video produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, in which Adams talks about A Gift to Your Family.
The State Bar has distributed more than 500,000 print planning guides to hospitals, clinics, lawyers, and the public. The 24-page A Gift to Your Family, now in its eighth printing, initially was produced in 2000 through a partnership with the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, and Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center. The State Bar Communications Committee later partnered with the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association to make the guide available in Spanish.
Download the Guide Today
Download the guide on WisBar.org.