It’s that time of year again. Time for clients to gather with family and friends, make gift lists a mile long, express gratitude. And – if you can convince your clients – to discuss health care wishes and goals.
But you don’t want to give your clients a “downer” assignment around the holidays. We know that doesn’t work well. So, I’m including here a few links to light-hearted pieces that you can pass along to clients before the holidays. Give them something to laugh about and think about as they prepare for their gatherings.
- The Conversation Project has just recently shared a set of humorous prompts for discussing health care wishes that will let them start the conversation on a good laugh. Many of these are take-offs on current movies.
- Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is a humorous cartoon memoir by Roz Chast, long-time cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine. A good bit of this book focuses on Chast’s experiences with her aging and ailing parents, who, as Chast shares, were “practitioners of denial” on the subject of death and illness.
You might find some of the pieces useful to bring some humor into a client seminar or newsletter piece when talking about advance care planning or estate planning generally. On the subject of medical wishes, for example: “My mother’s line about this had always been ‘I don’t want to be a pulsating piece of protoplasm!’ But it’s different when you have to sign an official document…”
She also recounts hiring an elder law attorney (Chapter 3). It is both funny and effective at explaining, positively, what estate planning is about.
- Last year for National Health Care Decisions Day, I blogged here about how crucial it is to make sure those advance directives you and your clients have created are easily available. Given the call to have the conversation with loved ones at this time of year, a reminder about the importance of document accessibility, and ways to ensure it, would not go amiss.
- I also wrote about the myths of advance directive accessibility last year. This is also useful in conjunction with #3 above.
There is a lot going on around advance care planning for 2016. Get ready!
Happy New Year!
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 200,000+ enrollees are available 24/7/365 through the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., as well as access to an online safe for storage of digital assets and other vital documents. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Randi is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning/advance directives. She serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative and as a board member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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