Background: Advance care planning improves the quality of end-of-life care for older persons in residential aged care; however, its uptake is low. Case conferencing facilitates advance care planning. Aim: To explore the experience of participating in advance care planning discussions facilitated through multidisciplinary case conferences from the perspectives of families, staff and health professionals. Design: A qualitative study (February–July 2019) using semi-structured interviews. Setting: Two residential aged care facilities in one Australian rural town. Participants: Fifteen informants [family (n = 4), staff (n = 5), health professionals (n = 6)] who had participated in advance care planning discussions facilitated through multidisciplinary case conferences. Results: Advance care planning was like navigating an emotional landscape while facing the looming loss of a loved one. This emotional burden was exacerbated for substitute decision-makers, but made easier if the resident had capacity to be involved or had previously made their wishes clearly known. The 'conversation' was not a simple task, and required preparation time. Multidisciplinary case conferences facilitated informed decision-making and shared responsibility. Opportunity to consider all care options provided families with clarity, control and a sense of comfort. This enabled multiple stakeholders to bond and connect around the resident. Conclusion: While advance care planning is an important element of high quality care it involves significant emotional labour and burden for families, care staff and health professionals. It is not a simple administrative task to be completed, but a process that requires time and space for reflection and consensus-building to support well-considered decisions. Multidisciplinary case conferences support this process.