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Step 3: Safeguard your future decision-making

It can be easy to take your capacity to make decisions for granted with end-of-life planning. For this reason, it’s important to consider putting an enduring power of attorney in place sooner rather than later.

Enduring power of attorney (EPOA) is a legal document in which you appoint someone to make decisions for you when you no longer have capacity to do so. It makes sense to consider putting these documents in place while you’re reviewing your will and other estate planning documents.

Read more about EPOA over at Starts at 60.

While you can allow your appointed EPOA to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, if you wish to separate the responsibilities, an advanced health directive (AHD) – also called a living will – is a common way to do so.

An AHD, which comes into effect when you’re deemed to have lost capacity to make your own decisions, allows you to set out your wishes on care issues, including life support, artificial feeding, resuscitation and organ donation. You can dictate when you want life-sustaining measures withheld or withdrawn.

This topic is also covered in more detail on Starts at 60, while more information about organ donation is available from Donate Life.