Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

Think in advance about important future decisions, talk with those you trust and make a written record of your wishes. 

That way, if a time comes when – because of serious illness or increased frailty – you are not able to make decisions, then your choices about your care and your personal affairs can be known and acted on. 

And there will be less opportunity for anyone to exploit you in a time of vulnerability.

Maybe you’ve already considered these steps?

  1. Appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney 
  2. Make known where you would like to be cared for 
  3. Make your healthcare preferences known
  4. Plan your Finances 


Enduring Power of Attorney

If you do not currently need support with decision-making, but wish to plan ahead for a time when this could become more difficult, you can make an enduring power of attorney. 

This lets you appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf to make certain decisions (about your personal welfare, property and finances) in the event that you are unable.

First you choose your attorney(s); and you choose what decisions they can make on your behalf. You write and sign what you’ve decided; and have the document signed by the attorney and two witnesses.

Next, within three months you must register the arrangement with the Decision Support Service (DSS).
The fee to register is €30. Attorneys must report to the DSS when there is a need to bring the power into force (the fee to do so is €90); and the DSS supervises the arrangement and ensures that the attorneys do their job correctly.

Citizens Information has useful, in-depth guidance on the subject here.

Advance Healthcare Directive

  • A written statement about the medical or surgical treatment you want / do not want in the future.
  • Ensures that you are always treated according to your preferences, beliefs and values.
  • Provides healthcare professionals with important information about you and your choices in relation to treatment. 
  • An Advance Healthcare Directive is a legal document that must be signed in the presence of 2 witnesses.
  • The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a legal framework for Advance Healthcare Directives in Ireland.

Citizens Information has useful, in-depth guidance on the subject here.

Think Ahead

Sage Advocacy supports Think Ahead – an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation

Visit the website here.

The Think Ahead Planning Pack – available at or by calling 01 679 3188 – is an excellent tool for planning ahead. Once you’ve filled it in, keep it safe, as you would a will; and tell those who are important to you where to find it; or share a copy with them.