Advanced Care Planning

Next Steps

The ACP is not a legal document. To legally select a medical decision-maker, you must fill out a New York State Power of Attorney for Healthcare form. It is a free document, is available online or from your healthcare team and requires the signature of two witnesses. The witnesses cannot be your medical decision-makers.

For other states, go this link at to find the appropriate form.

After you complete the form, bring it with you on your next appointment. Sharing this information with your healthcare team allows them to know who your medical decision-maker is and helps ensure that your wishes are granted.

  • Inform them who you have selected as your medical decision-maker.
  • Provide them with a copy of your New York State Power of Attorney for Healthcare form.
  • Inform them of your values and wishes to add to your medical record.

Bring these documents with you for all hospital visits and if you see a new doctor. Always keep them in an easy-to-find location, in case of an emergency.

Review Often

Because what you value in life may change with major life events, you can change your ACP at any time. At minimum, you should review and update your Advance Care Plan on a regular basis, or when any of the 5 D’s occur in your life: Death, Divorce, Decade, Decline or Disease.



Be sure to communicate any adjustments to your appointed medical decision- maker.

If you decide to change who your medical decision-maker is:

  • Update your New York State Power of Attorney for Healthcare form
  • Communicate the change with your healthcare team

Advance Care Planning Helps Your Loved Ones

Sharing your ACP with loved ones or someone you trust can be considered a gift that can help them make very difficult medical decisions at very stressful times.


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