An Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD) is a legally binding document that will speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.
The AHCD protects your healthcare rights. You make your healthcare, end of life, organ donation, and even memorial/burial/cremation/spiritual wishes and values known now so if something happens to you, your decisions will be followed.
Why is an AHCD important?
You make your own decisions – important life and death decisions – and remove the possibility of putting that responsibility on your loved ones. There is no easy way to deal with the loss of a loved one, but you can help bring a sense of calm and peace of mind to your family by taking the time to make your decisions and wishes known now, before it is too late.
You don’t need a lawyer or anyone else, other than your loved ones, to help you secure your rights to live and die by your values with dignity. Below the links for free Advance Healthcare Directives are links to organizations that provide incredible resources to help empower you to engage the people who matter most to you in what can be challenging conversations about end-of-life situations. These conversations, and some self-reflection, are the building blocks that will help you complete the Healthcare Directive so that it reflects your wishes and values.
The following resources provide free Advance Healthcare Directives:
The California Statutory Advance Healthcare Directive
Directly from the California Probate Code Statute comes California’s statutory advance healthcare directive in a fillable pdf. English only.
PREPARE for your care’s Directives and step-by-step program
For California, forms may be downloaded in English, Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, Farsi, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese. Forms are available for all 50 states.
Cedars-Sinai Advance Healthcare Directive
Forms available in English, Farsi, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
**Forms also available for specific Religious Traditions – work in harmony with your religious beliefs.
UCLA Health Advance Healthcare Directive
A form that is designed around patient goals and values rather than procedures. English only.
Forms may be downloaded in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
UCI Health Advance Care Planning
UCI Health offers free online classes that walk you through completing your Advance Healthcare Directive.
To learn more about topics to discuss with your loved ones or how to start those conversations, please visit these not-for-profits organizations:
The Conversation Project
I am a Proud Champion of The Conversation Project. The Conversation Project is a national public awareness initiative dedicated to ensuring that everyone’s wishes for care through the end of life are understood and respected. They offer a series of free starter guides to help you begin the conversation about what matters most to you and those important to you. Click here to download now.
Planning My Way
Planning My Way provides their Guide for Future Health Care Decisions. They guide you through 4 stages: Thinking, Choosing, Talking, and Documenting. Their in-depth Guide Sheets are fantastic tools to help you.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
The NHPCO provides a wide range of important information that can help you gain knowledge about end of life situations and what you need to plan for. Learn about Hospice and Palliative Care, Advance Care Planning, Caregiving, and Grief and Loss.