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Law Office of Rick Todd Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Living Wills in Columbia, Maryland

Lawyers who practice estate planning typically give people a bundle of documents. The foremost document in that bundle is usually the will or revocable living trust. But one of the key supporting documents is known as a living will. Living wills are for when the client is still alive, but unable to make simple decisions. The living will determines how the client wishes to be treated by medical personnel.

In Maryland a living will is known as an “advance directive” and many different states have different names for the document. The statutory advance directive that Maryland produces attempts to be the most up to date (with regard to the laws in Maryland that regulate end of life care). This is the form that I give to my clients.

Why do people need living wills? Besides being customarily included in an estate plan, they allow the client to clearly say how they wish to be treated by medical personnel. It’s clearly an important document that affects the vast majority of people. So, then, why would you use it? If you are in a coma or a persistent vegetative state, or have severe dementia, for instance, than living wills are for you.

In fact, it’s so important that most states have their own version based on their own laws. Different states are more lenient towards the idea of letting someone resist medical care and many states are now adopting end of life statutes that allow for euthanasia. Maryland is not one of those states at this time.

The Maryland statutory form has questions that require initialed choices by the client. The form is not the best written form in the world, but it is probably the one most likely to be accepted by hospitals in the state. If you move out of the state, I recommend getting a different statutory form that better reflects the change in living wills laws. 


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The Law Offices of Rick Todd is located in Columbia, MD and Chevy Chase, MD (Friendship Heights) serve clients throughout Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac, Laurel, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Washington D.C.



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