April 16, 2017 marks the start of National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD) (www.nhdd.org), a week-long, nation-wide event which exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance healthcare planning. The theme for 2017 is “it always seems too early, until it’s late.”
Providing clear, concise and consistent information on healthcare decision-making both to the public and providers through the widespread dissemination of tools to help guide people through the process of advance planning is the focus of NHDD. By demystifying healthcare decision-making and making the topic of advance care planning inescapable, NHDD aims to promote the idea that this topic is one that affects everyone. NHDD aims to make the public understand that advance health care decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that begins with an initial conversation.
The Conversation Project (www.theconversationproject.org) seeks to facilitate end-of-life conversations between an individual and their loved ones. It does not advocate any particular decisions, but rather, encourages people to simply start talking. While The Conversation Project provides vast and varied amounts of information and tips, its Starter Kit is a phenomenal resource to help guide individuals through the process. And it is a process; advance care planning is something that should be done with multiple conversations over a period of time.
On this NHDD, start the conversation about advance care planning. The Trust and Estate attorneys at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP recommend that everyone has an advance healthcare plan and welcome the opportunity to assist individuals and their loved ones in having the conversation and instituting the plan.
Janene B. Reilly is an attorney in Obermayer’s Philadelphia office, focusing her practice in the areas of estate planning and estate and trust administration. She can be reached at 215-665-3062 or Janene.Reilly@obermayer.com