We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of living responsibly, which involves preparing for the realities of life. While we believe making the decisions involved in funeral pre-planning is one reflection of a responsible mindset, we also know the critical importance of completing an advance directive.
Sometimes called advance care directives, these document ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the future.
Defined as "a written statement of a person's wishes regarding medical treatment," advance directives, when properly signed and witnessed, will provide guidance for medical and health care decisions in the event the individual becomes incompetent and can no longer make such decisions.
It's fairly easy to get a copy of the
advance care directive form for your province. Your local hospital is a reliable source, as federal law requires every hospital to not only provide information about advance directives to people in their service area, they are also required to share valuable information about the related laws in your province. Contact your local hospital to learn more. Your family physician may also have advance directive forms available for patients.
You will need to have the advance directive witnessed and notarized. If you do not have access to a notary, you can find one using either of the following websites:
Dying with Dignity Canada also offers Advance Care Planning Kits to assist you in making your advance care directive.