Getting Started Tool Kit

Make your own health care plan. It's as easy as 1-2-3! 

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Choose a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy.

Completing a document.

Talk with your family. Write down your choices for care in a Personal Directive.

Talking to a doctor.

Talk with your doctors & care providers to align care to your choices.

This do-it-yourself tool kit provides easy step-by-step instructions to start to make your personal health care plan. You can do one step at a time or do all 3 steps. Each step has helpful informational fact sheets, documents and tools you can download and print.  You can download the Tool Kit and view the Tool Kit Checklist below. Or find all the individual documents here.

Getting Started Tool Kit Checklist:

Getting Started Tool Kit Checklist:

Here's a simple checklist to start your plan. The checklist is included in your downloaded Getting Started Tool Kit, along with the Heath Care Proxy and Personal Directive (English). For a Health Care Proxy translated in 9 other languages, click here.

1. Choose a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy

  • Ask a trusted adult to be your Health Care Agent or "Agent".
    • Review Choosing a Health Care Agent: What Does an Agent Do?
    • Not sure who to choose yet? No problem. You can start your plan with the Personal Directive (Step 2, below).
  • Appoint your Agent in a Health Care Proxy.
    • Review Things to Know About a Health Care Proxy
    • Fill out the Health Care Proxy Instructions & Document. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.
  • ‰‰When complete, keep your original document. Give a copy to your Agent and anyone you choose.

2. Write down your choices & preferences for care in a Personal Directive

  • Review Things to Know About a Personal Directive. You can use your Personal Directive:
    • As a discussion guide to talk with your Agent, family, friends, clergy and care providers;
    • To give written instructions & information to your Agent and family;
    • To start your personal health care plan, if you have not yet chosen an Agent.
  • Fill out the Personal Directive Instructions & Document. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.
  • When complete, keep your original document. Give a copy to your Agent and anyone you choose. If you don’t have an Agent yet, consider sharing it with your doctors & care providers.

3. Talk with Your Doctors & Care Providers

  • Use the 5 Things to Talk About with Your Care Providers  to start a planning discussion about your care goals, values and choices. Bring this handy guide to your next visit.
  • Give a copy of your Health Care Proxy to your doctors & providers to scan into your medical record. If you like, you can share your Personal Directive.

Download & print the entire toolkit.