How to plan ahead for your future care in England and Wales

Talk to your family and friends

They will be able to help you clarify your plans, and it may also help them feel involved.

Find out about the different ways you can plan ahead

For example, you may want to make a will| and write down your wishes and preferences for your care using the Preferred Priorities for Care document.

Arrange to speak to a healthcare or other professional to discuss the ways you would like to plan ahead

It may take some time to discuss your plans and talk it all through. The professionals helping you won’t expect you to rush into making any plans unless you’re sure about them. Some people can take several months before they feel happy to make plans for their future care or treatment.

When you’ve decided what plans you would like to make, it’s best if you write them down

You may want to use the documents for Preferred Priorities for Care and an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment on our website. Or you can ask your healthcare professional to give you them. If you want to make a will or create a Lasting Power of Attorney, it’s a good idea to see a solicitor as these are important legal documents.

Keep all your documents in a safe place

Make sure they are easily accessible to your family, friends and healthcare professionals. Your family should know where they are.

It’s important to review your documents regularly

This will make sure that they still reflect your wishes. Your wishes can vary over time, especially if your circumstances change

Remember that you can change the plans you’ve made at any time

This includes your will, Preferred Priorities for Care, Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment or your wishes for organ/tissue donation.

If you do change any of your plans, you need to make sure that everyone involved in your care knows. You should also document your new wishes, even if this isn’t a legal requirement for the particular plan you want to change. Documenting your wishes makes sure that everyone who’s involved in your care knows what they are.