How to - 5 Steps

Advance Care Planning can be approached a step at a time. The important first steps are thinking about and talking about - because it’s the conversations and the shared understanding of what matters that makes the biggest difference. Once you have done that it is very helpful to write down the key points and any specific wishes in a plan so that others can refer to it.

Advance Care Planning is an opportunity to think about what is important to you, what matters, what makes life meaningful. This can help you talk about it with your family and friends.The value of Advance Care Planning is in the conversations and the shared understanding that is developed.


What do you need to think about?
  • What is important to you and gives your life meaning?
  • Are there any treatments or types of care that you would or wouldn't want?
  • Who would you want to make decisions on your behalf if you weren't able to?
  • If there was a choice, how and where would you like to spend your last days?

man lying on grass thinking

Thinking about your future health care leaflet

Use this template
to start your thinking.

Open Now
considering your own future health care module

Start an online guide
which will walk you through the process.

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Who do you need to talk to about it?

Once you have thought through some of the issues, it’s a good idea to talk about them. Then others will know what is important to you and what you would like to happen, especially if you’re not able to speak for yourself.

Who would it be good to share your thoughts with?

  • Family/whanau?
  • Friends and loved ones?
  • Doctors, specialists and healthcare team?
  • Enduring Power of Attorney?

two ladies talking

Talking about your future health care leaflet

Use this guide
to plan who to talk to.

Open Now
considering your own future health care module

Start an online guide
which will walk you through the steps.

Open Now
What do you need to write down?

When you know what's important to you, and what you want others to be clear about, it's a good idea to write it down. Then they can refer to it when you can't speak for yourself.

Having it in writing can save families/whanau (and healthcare teams) a lot of worry and concern if and when they have to make a decision on your behalf.


doctor talking with patient

Talking about your future health care leaflet

Use this template
to record what is important to you and what you want.

Download Now
considering your own future health care module

Start an online guide
which will walk you through the steps.

Open Now
Who will you give it to?

Once you have written down what is important to you and what you want to happen, make sure you give a copy to:

  • Key family members/whanau
  • Your GP
  • All members of your healthcare team
  • Your Enduring Power of Attorney (if you have one)

doctor talking with patients
When will you review it?

It’s great to have your plan written down and to have shared that with key people.

It’s also a good idea to review it regularly to make sure nothing has changed for you.

People find it useful to decide on a day to review it every year, like their birthday, Labour Day or at the time they do their tax return. When would be a good time for you to review it each year?

birthday cake