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Free materials, clinics to help Missourians create advance directives

The Missouri Bar and volunteer lawyers partner to assist Missourians for National Healthcare Decisions Day April 16

Missourians can easily set up their own durable power of attorney for health care thanks to free materials provided by The Missouri Bar or by attending one of two dozen free clinics throughout the state where volunteer lawyers will assist them in completing written advance directives in accordance with Missouri laws. Events will take place in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield as well as St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties. A full listing of events, times and locations is available online at http://missourilawyershelp.org/events/healthcare-decision-day/.

The free materials and clinics help mark Saturday, April 16, as National Healthcare Decisions Day. Now in its ninth year, the annual effort brings together national, state and community groups to educate the public about the importance of making advance health care decisions and empowering them to complete an advance care directive.

“Advance care planning is incredibly important,” said 2015-16 Missouri Bar President Erik Bergmanis. “Making end-of-life care wishes known before they are needed takes the burden off family members and health care providers when the time comes. Planning offers peace of mind by making sure your care choices will be carried out as you prefer, and April 16, many Missouri lawyers will be volunteering time to help with that planning.”

The Missouri Bar offers a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Directive, in English and Spanish, at no charge to Missourians. The forms are available by calling 573-635-4128 or online at http://missourilawyershelp.org/legal-topics/durable-power-of-attorney-for-health/.

National Healthcare Decisions Day seeks to address the public’s misunderstanding about advance health care planning and directives. To date, more than 80 national organizations and 700 state and community organizations participant. To learn more, visit www.nhdd.org.

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s practicing lawyers. The Missouri Bar provides a wide range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media, educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit www.mobar.org and www.MissouriLawyersHelp.org.

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