African Americans Lag Whites in End-of-Life Planning

Posted January 7, 2011 in Uncategorized by Arthur Buono

African Americans are less likely than whites to have made end-of-life planning decisions. The data come from an interesting study about advance medical directives and long-term care patients. It’s a reminder to all of us of the benefits of end-of-life planning in general.

  • African Americans trail in end-of-life planning among surveyed groups
  • Real benefits to be gained by end-of-life planning
  • Planning not expensive; DIY options plentiful
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End-of-Life: Why Everyone Should Plan

This is one racial equality gap that can and should be closed, and pretty easily. The study suggests various social, cultural and religious reasons for the gap. I’d be interested to know if access to legal help is a problem too.

The fact is though, advance directives and health care powers of attorney are not complicated documents. You can prepare them yourself using tools like our Rocket Lawyer. If you need help, estate planning attorneys usually have reasonable, flat fee schedules for preparing these and giving advice about them.

As USA Today points out, a lot of aggressive, expensive and usually useless "care" is administered to dying patients. These documents can do much more than stop this. They can also define who should be in charge of any decision you don’t want to make in advance, and guide them in it. This can spare your loved ones a lot of agony, grief and bad feelings when this time comes.

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