Living wills and advance directives

Posted by Angela Holliday Hansen Esq. | Jan 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Families in Maryland might know the benefits of drafting a living will or other advance directive, but may wonder how useful or binding these might be if one becomes non-communicative due to a medical crisis. Estate administrationprofessionals remind individuals with these questions that, depending on the kind of advance directive one creates, the level of control may be raised or lowered to where families feel most comfortable. No matter what kind of directive is used, however, thoughtful planning will lessen stress and worry at a time when loved ones may find it most difficult to make end-of-life decisions.

Living wills are primarily instructions regarding life-saving procedures or artificial extension of life through ventilators, feeding tubes and other such devices. However, legal documents granting powers such as a medical power of attorney are also advance directives one might want trusted people to have. A medical power of attorney allows a person to be named who, presumably, understands the loved one's wishes regarding medical treatment and can communicate those wishes most effectively to healthcare professionals.

Experts agree that a living will or other advance medical directive shouldn't be the exclusive purview of older people. A car accident, work mishap or sudden illness can render anyone comatose or otherwise unable to communicate with caregivers, meaning that they would also benefit from having an advance directive on file.

Proper estate administration may help ease the concerns of beneficiaries by overseeing a smooth distribution of assets. It might be possible to shorten the probate process by making wills just one part of an estate plan. Trusts and other tools may be utilized in order to help avoid probate issues and minimize certain tax consequences.

About the Author

Angela Holliday Hansen Esq.

Angela Holliday Hansen, Esq., is a former big firm corporate attorney who now practices family law in Rockville Maryland. Ms. Hansen oversees complex estate administration and drafts...

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200 A Monroe St
Suite 310

Rockville, MD 20850
301-690-0383
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 09:00am - 05:00pm

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