Frequently Asked
Questions

Do I make a medical plan for now or for some time in the future when I am seriously ill? My wishes and preferences might be different in the future.

In the Guide to Exploring, you are making your advance serious illness plan based on your current age, health and values. If things change as you age or develop a new health problem, you can always update your plan in your future. 

How do I use my Advance Serious Illness Plan?

Once you complete the Guide to Exploring and have your ‘Dear Doctor’ letter, you now have a script to follow if you were to get sick and have to go to hospital. The letter will be helpful in future situations when talking to an ER or ICU doctor. We also recommend that you take your Dear Doctor Letter to your family doctor, if you have one, and discuss it with them now in case you are too sick to discuss it with them in the future. Mostly likely, when you become seriously ill, you won’t be able to talk or think for yourself. It is important to name a representative to make healthcare decisions.

We have created the Guides to Equipping and Entrusting to help you choose a suitable representative and equip them with instructions in the event of you becoming seriously ill. The Guide to Equipping creates a Dear Representative Letter as well as the province-specific legal documents needed to appoint your representative. Your representative will then use the Dear Representative Letter to make medical and personal care decisions on your behalf, respecting the instructions you’ve equipped them with. The Guide to Entrusting creates instructions that will be helpful to you in working with your Lawyer to finalize a power of attorney so your financial representative can make financial decisions for you in a way that minimize risk of abuse or misuse of your funds when you are vulnerable.

Is my Advance Serious Illness Plan a legal document?

The Dear Doctor Letter generated in the Guide to Exploring is not a legal document, however it is a helpful tool in communicating your healthcare preferences with your doctor and your loved ones.

The Guide to Equipping creates a province-specific legal document (Representation Agreement in BC, Personal Directive in AB, etc, for example) that names the person that will be your representative for personal and medical care. Their instructions are enclosed in the “Dear Representative” letter, which is not a legal document.

The Guide to Entrusting does not produce a legal document but rather, produces instructions in the form of a “Dear Lawyer” letter. You will need to take this to your lawyer to get your power of attorney finalized (or revised) and it becomes legally binding when finalized by your lawyer. 

What if I don’t have a family doctor?

That’s ok. It is not likely that it will be “your family doctor” that treats you when you are seriously ill. It will be some other doctor working in ER or ICU. But these doctors treating you will also appreciate the insights in your plan. The plan is not only important to doctors, but also to you. This plan will help you clarify what your values and preferences are and make it easy to share them with your family and your Representative.

What if my family disagrees with my decisions?

It’s your life (and death). You will be the person potentially experiencing a medical event, and ultimately your wishes are what’s most important. But, you will want to take into consideration their wishes and feelings too. It is far better to address disagreements while you are alive and well than to leave it for them to figure out when you are too sick to speak for yourself. If you need professional help coaching you or guiding you so you all ‘get on the same page’, see our “Getting Help” menu for help.

How do I choose a Representative?

The Guide to Equipping educates you on what a Representative does and how to choose one to help you make medical and personal care decisions if you are unable. We also go one step further and actually prepare them to best represent you when you are not able to speak or think for yourself.

The Guide to Entrusting will coach you through the process of selecting the best person to manage your financial affairs if you are not able and how to set forth instructions to prevent abuse or misuse of your funds when you are most vulnerable.  

What if I don’t have any family or friends that can be my Representative?

We would encourage you to read this blog with some strategies to solve this important problem.

Can my Representative and trusted advisors access my documents?

Within the dashboard, you will be able to share your documents with family members, friends and trusted advisors. You may email or print your documents.  

The Guide to Equipping also includes a personal wallet card that stores your documents for emergency access. Your planning documents will be viewable by anybody who scans the QR code on your card. 

When will I receive my wallet card?

At the moment, we are providing a print-at-home wallet card. This will be emailed to you shortly after you complete the Guide to Equipping if you request it.

What if I change my mind about something in my plan?

We talk about in the planning process how you will likely want to change your plan, as you age or as your health changes. With your account, you can log back in at any time and update your plan and recreate your Dear Doctor and Dear Representative letters. Please make sure to share the updated versions with your loved ones, representatives, and family doctor! 

I have an Advance Care Plan. Do I still need to do an Advance Serious Illness Plan?

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is most effective when you can predict the circumstances of when and how you will die. It does not, however, do an effective job of planning when you don’t know what the medical outcome will be. That’s where Advance Serious Illness Planning (ASIP) comes into play. ASIP allows you to better understand the medical treatment options available, reflect on what’s most important to you with respect to future care, and document those values and preferences. For more on the difference between ACP and ASIP, check out this blog.

How do I plan for something unknown and have no control over?

We understand how this can be difficult. You can’t predict what serious illness you will contract or when or what will happen to you. That’s why we try and educate you on the process of serious illness decision-making and try and coach you on ‘being in control’ of the part that you can control. That is, your authentic values and informed treatment preferences. These are integral to future decisions that will be made about your medical care when you are seriously ill. You may not be able to control many things about your future serious illness, but you can control how ready you (or your Representative) are to share your values and preferences.

Why is the first guide free?

We believe high quality medical planning should be available to everyone! That’s why we made our first plan free. Regardless of how we price it, it has enormous value for patients and their loved ones when they experience serious illness. We charge for the Guide to Equipping and Guide to Entrusting because they also provides immense value for the general public. Our planning services are both medical and legal in scope, and we charge significantly less than market value (lawyers charge a LOT more and do not provide the same level of service for incapacity planning). And it keeps the lights on so we can keep doing what we do best!

What are your accepted payment methods?

We accept almost all major credit cards and payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Payments are processed via Stripe.

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To live well, age well, and die well, you need to Plan Well