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What is the purpose of an advance medical directive?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2021 | Estate Planning

No one wants to think about a situation when they are unable to think or act for themselves. Unfortunately, these circumstances arise all too often when Maryland residents are involved in car accidents, work-related incidents, and other personal injury situations. When a person suffers a medical emergency and cannot speak to their own doctors about their wishes for their care, doctors can be left with little information to work off to provide services for the individual.

It is in these difficult situations that advance medical directives have power. This post will generally discuss advance medical directives and what they can do. There is no legal or medical advice conveyed through this post, and all readers with questions about advance medical directives and other estate planning matters can contact their trusted estate planning lawyers.

The basics of advance medical directives

As mentioned, advance medical directives are important documents when individuals cannot speak or act for themselves when it comes to their own medical care. Through an advance medical directive a person can:

  • Name an agent to speak for them regarding medical treatment and care
  • Describe if and how they want life-saving measures taken, if required
  • Instruct doctors on if or how they want life-sustain measures taken, if required

For example, a person may feel strongly that they do not want to be placed on a ventilator if there is no chance of recovering from an illness or injury. Through their advance medical directive, they can legally convey their preferences on the topic.

Preparing an advance medical directive

An advance medical directive is an important document to execute before an individual needs it. Once they are incapacitated, they cannot sign one to indicate their wishes for their care. Advance medical directives can and should be parts of greater estate planning conversations that individuals have with their attorneys. Local Greenbelt estate planning attorneys are prepared to help those who are ready to take these important steps to protect their futures.


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