A living will in Baltimore, Maryland, sometimes referred to as a "healthcare directive" is a legal document instructing those concerned (family, doctors, etc.) on how you want to be treated if you become unable to make your wishes known due to physical or mental incapacity.
This can be very helpful in avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For example, some people wish to be taken off of life support if they are in a permanent vegetative state, and their doctors believe that they have little to no chance of a meaningful recovery. However, if this wish is not expressed in advance, it may be impossible to implement in the unfortunate event that it becomes relevant.
Also, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Baltimore, Maryland
Of course, your loved ones should be involved in the process. They can't make these decisions for you, but they'll probably be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family knows what to expect when your living will is implemented, the process will probably be easier.
The next step in the process is to actually write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should seek the counsel of a Baltimore, Maryland attorney who drafts wills.
Generally, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
While these formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite common. For instance, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct stake in it. It's also important to avoid any disputes or confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will. A clear statement to that effect should be the first paragraph in any type of will.
Do I Need A Baltimore, Maryland Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly required, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an experienced Baltimore, Maryland attorney. A good lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.