acp logo colorAdvance care planning in 5 steps

Advance care planning can be approached a step at a time. We have developed a five-step process for you.

The important first steps are thinking and talking about advance care planning. After that, it is helpful to write the key points down in a plan so you can share your wishes with others.

The value of advance care planning is in the conversations and the shared understanding that is developed, and in the regular review of your plans.

Click on the steps below for more information.

  • 1. Thinking about

    HT thinkingWhat do you need to think about?
    • What is important to you and gives your life meaning?
    • Are there any treatments or types of care that you would or wouldn't want?
    • Who would you want to make decisions on your behalf if you weren't able to?
    • If there was a choice, how and where would you like to spend your last days?
    Front cover of the physical advance care plan

    My advance care plan and guide


    Start an online guide which will show you the process.

  • 2. Talking about

    HT 2talkingWho do you need to talk to about it?

    Once you have thought through some of the issues, it’s a good idea to talk about them. Then others will know what is important to you and what you would like to happen, especially if you’re not able to speak for yourself.

    Who would it be good to share your thoughts with?

    • Family/whānau?
    • Friends and loved ones?
    • Doctors, specialists and health care team?
    • Enduring Power of Attorney?

    Use this template to plan who to talk to.


    Start an online guide which will show you the process.


  • 3. Planning for

    what mattersWhat do you need to write down?

    When you know what's important to you, and what you want others to be clear about, it's a good idea to write it down. Then they can refer to it when you can't speak for yourself.

    Having it in writing can save families/whānau (and health care teams) a lot of worry and concern if and when they have to make a decision on your behalf.

    ACP plan print 2

    Use this template to record what is important to you and what you want.


    Start an online guide which will show you the process.



  • 4. Sharing

    HT 4sharingWho will you give it to?

    Once you have written down what is important to you and what you want to happen, make sure you give a copy to:

    • key family members/whānau
    • your GP
    • all members of your health care team
    • your Enduring Power of Attorney (if you have one).
  • 5. Reviewing

    HT 5reviewingWhen will you review it?

    It’s great to have your plan written down and to have shared that with key people.

    It’s also a good idea to review it regularly to make sure nothing has changed for you.

    People find it useful to decide on a day to review it every year, like their birthday, Labour Day or at the time they do their tax return. When would be a good time for you to review it each year?

Last updated 05/02/2021