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Here's your portable guide to the conversation. You can now type your answers directly into the Starter Kit, save your personalized version, finish or change it later, and email it to family and friends.

Download and print your Starter Kit PDF

NOTE: If you are using a Google Chrome browser, you must save the PDF to your desktop and reopen it before entering your answers. If you enter your answers into the PDF in the Chrome browser, they will not be saved.

We have additional resources available for you in the Community Resource Center.

Click here for free Starter Kit translations available in the following languages: French, Hebrew, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Now that you've had the conversation with your loved ones, are you ready to talk with your doctor?

Download and print the How To Talk To Your Doctor Guide PDF

Click here to access it in French, Korean, Mandarin, or Spanish.

Our Pediatric Starter Kit is designed to help parents of seriously ill children who want guidance about "having the conversation" with their children.

Download and Print your Pediatric Starter Kit PDF

Translations in Spanish and Mandarin are available here.
How to use the Starter Kit
  • Move straight through by clicking the arrows at the bottom of the page, or navigate to the section you’d like to explore by clicking on the progress bar at the top of the page.
  • Get extra help through every step by downloading and printing out the Starter Kit PDF from the top of the page. You can now type your answers directly into the Starter Kit, save your personalized version, finish or change it later, and email it to family and friends.
Remember:
  • This can be the first of many conversations, so you don’t have to cover everyone or everything right now.

Step 3: Go

When you’re ready to have the conversation, think about the basics.

Who do you want to talk to?

When would be a good time to talk?

Where would you feel comfortable talking?

What do you want to be sure to say?

How to start

Here are some ways you could break the ice:

“I need your help with something.”

“Remember how someone in the family died – was it a ‘good’ death or a ‘hard’ death? How will yours be different?”

“I was thinking about what happened to _____, and it made me realize…”

“Even though I’m okay right now, I’m worried that _____ and I want to be prepared.”

“I need to think about the future. Will you help me?”

“I just answered some questions about how I want the end of my life to be. I want you to see my answers. And I’m wondering what your answers would be.

What to talk about

You may already know what you want to talk about in your first conversation, and that’s great. If you’d like more guidance, here are some important questions to consider:

  1. When you think about the last phase of your life, what’s most important to you? How would you like this phase to be?
  2. Do you have any particular concerns about your health? About the last phase of your life?
  3. What affairs do you need to get in order, or talk to your loved ones about? (Personal finances, property, relationships.)
  4. Who do you want (or not want) to be involved in your care? Who would you like to make decisions on your behalf if you’re not able to? (This person is your health care proxy.)
  5. Would you prefer to be actively involved in decisions about your care? Or would you rather have your doctors do what they think is best?
  6. Are there any disagreements or family tensions that you’re concerned about?
  7. Are there important milestones you’d like to be there for, if possible? (The birth of your grandchild, your 80th birthday.)

You can find more questions in the “Go” section of your Starter Kit PDF.

Remember:

  • Be patient. Some people may need a little more time to think.
  • You don’t have to steer the conversation; just let it happen.
  • Don’t judge. A “good” death means different things to different people.
  • Nothing is set in stone. You and your loved ones can always change your minds as circumstances shift.
  • This is the first of many conversations—you don’t have to cover everyone or everything right now.

PLEASE NOTE: This document does not seek to provide legal advice.

Here's your portable guide to the conversation. You can now type your answers directly into the Starter Kit, save your personalized version, finish or change it later, and email it to family and friends.

Download and print your Starter Kit PDF

NOTE: If you are using a Google Chrome browser, you must save the PDF to your desktop and reopen it before entering your answers. If you enter your answers into the PDF in the Chrome browser, they will not be saved.

We have additional resources available for you in the Community Resource Center.

Click here for free Starter Kit translations available in the following languages: French, Hebrew, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Now that you've had the conversation with your loved ones, are you ready to talk with your doctor?

Download and print the How To Talk To Your Doctor Guide PDF

Click here to access it in French, Korean, Mandarin, or Spanish.

Our Pediatric Starter Kit is designed to help parents of seriously ill children who want guidance about "having the conversation" with their children.

Download and Print your Pediatric Starter Kit PDF

Translations in Spanish and Mandarin are available here.
How to use the Starter Kit
  • Move straight through by clicking the arrows at the bottom of the page, or navigate to the section you’d like to explore by clicking on the progress bar at the top of the page.
  • Get extra help through every step by downloading and printing out the Starter Kit PDF from the top of the page. You can now type your answers directly into the Starter Kit, save your personalized version, finish or change it later, and email it to family and friends.
Remember:
  • This can be the first of many conversations, so you don’t have to cover everyone or everything right now.

Now, just go for it! Each conversation will empower you and your loved ones. You are getting ready to help each other live and die in a way that you choose.
Once you’ve had your first conversation, move to the last step—write your wishes down and keep talking.

Help us make this kit better.

Tell us what you think works, what doesn't work, and what else you need.