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Health Care Planning

Honoring Choices Massachusetts Community PartnerMinuteman Senior Services is partnering with Honoring Choices Massachusetts to bring you health care planning information and tools to make a personal health care plan. We are committed to helping you understand information to make health care choices that are right for you, and to communicate your choices in Massachusetts planning documents.

What is Health Care Planning?
Health care planning is not one document or one conversation, but a life process to get the best possible care that matches your values and choices at every stage of health. It is both Everyday Care Planning with your clinicians for proactive, preventative care; and Advance Care Planning to choose a Health Care Agent and write down the kind of care you want if one day you are unable to make health care decisions yourself. It is a personal roadmap for quality care that protects your right to get the care you want, supports your family in knowing how to care for you, and helps your physicians match the best possible care to your preferences and choices.

How Do I Get Started?
It's simple to get started. You can start to make a plan at 18 years old, and add and revise documents as you like all through your life. It's generally recommended that a basic plan include a Health Care Proxy, a Personal Directive (Living Will), and a Durable Power of Attorney for the best protection of your rights and choices under Massachusetts law. Start by choosing a Health Care Agent, your advocate who can step in to talk with clinicians and make decisions on your behalf if you are not able to make decisions yourself. Here are a few forms to get you started.

  • Massachusetts Health Care Proxy
    This is a simple legal document in which you choose and write down the name of a trusted person, called a Health Care Agent, to make health care decisions on your behalf if one day you are not able to make medical decisions yourself. You can complete this document yourself.

  • Personal Directive or Living Will
    This is a personal document, not legally binding, in which you give your Health Care Agent instructions and information about your preferences and choices for care. You can complete this document yourself.

  • Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment or MOLST
    This is a medical order and a document for adults with serious or terminal illness, in which you talk with your clinician and write down your choices about the use of life-sustaining treatments. You complete a MOLST form with your clinician.

For more information about Durable Power of Attorney and other Massachusetts planning documents, please visit, where you can read more from local experts and leaders who share information to help you explore a wide range of topics, and download free documents and planning tools.