If you wish to speak with a professional to consult about any part of the ACP process, please contact Karen Zanetell at

Let’s face it—there’s never a good time to plan for a serious illness or the end of life. It’s even more difficult to talk about it with the people who matter to you.

Yet every day hundreds of people die in California hospitals, often hooked up to a bank of intimidating machines, instead of at home, where they really wanted to be, because they don’t have a plan in place. Only about one-third of adults have an Advance Care Plan* (APC)—the document that specifies your healthcare wishes if you are unable to communicate them yourself, or at the end of life.

The goal of creating an ACP is to help ensure that people receive medical care that is consistent with their values, goals, and preferences. It is a living document, designed to change over time as your circumstances and values evolve and change. Your choices as a young adult may not reflect your preferences when you are older, so an APC is appropriate for adults of all ages and in all stages of life.

Many organizations and health insurance companies provide guidance and templates for your ACP. It is important that you chose one that is valid in the state where you reside, as laws can differ from state to state.

The resources linked (left) are from Honoring Choices Napa Valley, a coalition of healthcare, social service, legal, government and civic organizations, and individuals who are committed to promoting Advance Care Planning in Napa County.

*Also known as an Advance Care Directive (ACD)