Informal Documents for Individuals Reluctant to Complete Legal Forms

The Personal Choices
Discussion Guide

~ An informal document created for use by those who are uncomfortable with completing a formal, legally-binding advance directive ~ 

Lifecare's "Personal Choices Discussion Guide"

Some members of the public may not be comfortable with completing a formal, legally binding advance directive.    

They may be reluctant for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are concerned that their information may be misused or misinterpreted.  Others may fear that any written wishes they provide will be used to limit their future options.  Still others may simply be distrustful of institutional systems and/or legal forms, etc. For all these situations, Lifecare Directives staff have created the "Personal Choices Discussion Guide".

The Discussion Guide contains the same essential information found in the formal Lifecare Advance Directive, but without any signing and witnessing requirements.  The original research for this document involved a review of more than 6,000 medical, legal, academic, and mainstream media articles on advance directives and decision making, as well as input from scores of medical, legal and academic specialists. 

A comparative analysis and review of more than 100 individually designed advance directives was also completed.   Finally, the investigation concluded with university-guided research involving more than 1,400 study participants -- all so that individuals, families and physicians can be confident that every major advance planning decision necessary is addressed as fully and clearly as possible. 

The Personal Choices Discussion Guide can be used informally by individuals who recognize the importance of discussing their wishes with their physician, and their families, even though they are reluctant to otherwise formally record their wishes.  It can help them to ensure they've made their most important and essential wishes clearly and thoroughly known. Once reading it, and realizing the importance of the content it covers, many individuals may actually want complete a more formal advance directive document.

The Discussion Guide can also benefit individuals who remain committed to completing only a limited-content statutory advance directive, but who want to ensure that additional information is available to those they love and anyone appointed to make decisions in their behalf. 

In addition, use of the Discussion Guide can further validate the choices that others may make later. Sometimes prior discussions of wishes may be difficult for loved ones to recall, and the Guide can serve as a summary reminder.  Or the value of your prior discussions may be discounted by others as having been too "casual" or without genuine "intent" (see legal case examples here).  In such situations, family members and others can cite your specific use of the Discussion Guide as informal evidence of your intent and support for family decision-making, etc. 

Thus, the Personal Choices Discussion Guide can provide an invaluable benefit, assisting individuals in informally sharing their personal wishes with others, even while relieving them of the distress they may otherwise feel at completing a legally binding document.  It can still aid families, physicians, and others to explore and secure an individual's most important wishes well in advance, and thereby avoid the significant distress and trauma that comes from making urgent decisions in the future without any advance understandings or preparation at all.

Don't delay.  If you or someone you love is reluctant to complete a formal advance directive, order a Personal Choices Discussion Guide now.  To order, click here.

Those who remain unsure about whether to use a Discussion Guide or to complete a legally binding advance directive may benefit from reading the 21-page Lifecare booklet, "Should I Complete an Advance Directive?" which may be downloaded at no cost by clicking here

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