Having tough conversations is a lot easier with a little bit of help from a discussion guide.

Introducing the personalized LifeFolder end-of-life discussion guide

Having your legal paperwork in order is a big part of planning — but it’s not the only part. If you want to ensure that your doctors honor your wishes, the most important thing that you can do is to talk about them. Speak with your proxies, your friends, and your loved ones. We know that having this conversation can be a daunting task, so we came up with a way to make that easier: a customized discussion guide.

If you’ve had this conversation with your loved ones, trust me: They’ll remember.

Speaking to Emily is one of the best ways to make your advance health care directive. In the process, Emily learns a lot about you and your choices for your health care. Today, we are launching a solution to take the next step: Talk to your loved ones.

Signing your advance health care directive is important, but only part of the journey. You’ll also want to talk your loved ones through your end-of-life plan in detail. That’s where our new discussion guide comes in.

Your advance health care directive becomes necessary in situations that are stressful. If you have an illness or if you’re in an accident, doctors may ask your proxies to make decisions for you. At that time, your proxies may have to dig deep into their memories: What was it you said, again?

Your advance care plan can help to jog your loved ones’ memories. Even so, it is crucial that you have an in-depth conversation with them. It is critical that they know what you want and why you’ve made those choices. The only way to make that happen is to have a frank conversation.

There is one more thing to keep in mind. Once you’ve given your advance care directive to your doctor, they will place it in your medical file. The truth is that there are a lot of documents in your medical records. There is no guarantee that medical personnel can find your paperwork when you need it. By talking to your loved ones in detail, they will know that the document exists. Your proxies can ask hospital staff to take another look, or — even better — they can bring a copy with them to the hospital. If you’ve had this conversation with your loved ones, trust me: They’ll remember.

What is a discussion guide?

The discussion guide takes you through the full conversation, step by step.

If you’ve ever had a conversation you have been nervous about maybe you created a list for yourself. Your list may have included questions you need to ask. Points you need to make. Maybe even a couple of ideas about how you can get the conversation started. That is what the LifeFolder discussion guide does. It outlines the conversation you are about to have with your health proxies into six topics. For each section, the guide shows you a to-do list of questions to ask and issues to discuss.

The discussion guide has your back and can help keep you on track.

As you go through the document, it guides you through a conversation. It helps you to discuss organ donation, advance health care directives, health proxies, life support, and what quality of life means to you. For each topic, the guide will help to explain why the subject is important. It also touches on how it affects your proxies and what your personal preferences are.

What makes it ‘personalized’?

The beauty of this discussion guide is that we make it especially for you. The discussion guide reflects the answers that you gave Emily in your conversation. If you told Emily that you are against organ donation, your guide includes that choice. It will suggest ways of explaining your preferences to your loved ones.

The same is true all the way through the document. Every discussion point shows your values, your choices, and your preferences. This means that if the conversation is going well, you can refer to the guide from time to time. That way, you can ensure that you don’t forget to talk about anything. If the discussion is harder than you imagined, the guide is even more useful. Use it as a crutch all the way through: It has your back and can help to keep you on track.

Where can I get my own custom conversation guide?

Once you’ve completed your conversation with Emily, the PDF of your discussion guide becomes available in your secure LifeFolder profile page.

To get your guide, all you need to do is to talk to Emily.

Your discussion guide will become available in your secure profile page, alongside your advance care directive. Print it out, read it, and use the guide to help you. It’s the best way to ensure that your loved ones understand your choices and the logic behind them.


This blog post is at a 6th grade reading level. We think that’s important. Check out LifeFolder to learn more about planning for the future of your healthcare.

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