Planning ahead for legal and practical matters
You can live for many years with metastatic cancer, but many people find it puts their mind at rest to have medical plans in place and sort out legal and practical matters, even though they still hope to live for a long time.
Planning ahead is useful for everyone, whether they have an illness or not.
What’s involved in planning ahead?
Thinking about how you feel about different types of medical treatment, including if you want to stop treatment at any stage or carry on for as long as possible.
Writing an advance care directive. This is where you can write down your wishes about your medical care. Doctors can use this if you are not well enough to say what you want.
Picking someone to make medical decisions for you if you're not well enough to decide (this person is called your ‘patient-designated healthcare representative’).
Making a will.
Thinking about any preferences you have about the end of your life, such as whether you prefer to stay at home, or if you think you would like to stay in a hospital or hospice.
Talking to your family, friends, carers and healthcare providers about what you want.
Help with planning ahead
Think Ahead booklet
This planning booklet has easy-to-read forms to fill in to record your personal, medical, financial and legal information and preferences.
Think Ahead covers:
- Personal information
- Care preferences – how you would like to be cared for, who should be included in discussions about your care, religious and cultural wishes, living wills, life-sustaining treatment.
- Legal matters – making a will, giving power of attorney
- Financial matters – bank accounts, pension, life insurance
- After death
Thinking Ahead - Money Matters and Serious Illness
This is a helpful guide to financial matters for people with a serious illness, published by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
The guide covers making a will, giving power of attorney, and dealing with bank accounts.
If you have any questions about planning ahead or want emotional support, you could talk to the medical social worker at the hospital or one of our cancer nurses – call our Support Line or visit a Daffodil Centre.
For more information
1800 200 700