Posted on 04/08/2013

The Huffington Post: Preparing for death is as simple as having a conversation with the right people at the right time. The right people are those whom you will trust to understand what you want and what you fear and will be certain your voice prevails when you may not be able to speak. The right time is now. You have all your papers in order from filing your taxes. Take the next step. Don’t wait until you are old. Don’t wait until you are sick. Don’t wait until you are in pain or fear. Make the conversation part of your life every year on April 16thNational Healthcare Decisions Day, knowing that your thoughts may change. Sixty percent of people say making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important,” but 56 percent have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.

That’s why we honor National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16; it was created to inspire and educate patients and providers about the importance of advance care planning. This year, The Conversation Project, a national social campaign dedicated to ensuring everyone’s end-of-life wishes are voiced and respected, has partnered with National Healthcare Decisions Day and The National Association of Tax Professionals to offer the necessary resources to facilitate these important health, lifestyle and financial conversations.

One such resource is the Starter Kit, a portable guide to having the conversation about end-of-life wishes with loved ones. After you’ve had this conversation with loved ones, you might also consider downloading the How to Talk to Your Doctor Kit, which helps you communicate wishes and plan with a medical professional.

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