In Maryland, your living will and power of attorney for health care are combined into one document called an Advance Directive. After you create your advance directive, you and two witnesses must sign it. If you used your advance directive to name a health care agent to make health care decisions on your behalf, that person cannot serve as a witness. In addition, at least one of your witnesses must be a person who is not entitled to any portion of your estate, and who is not entitled to any financial benefit by reason of your death.
After you and your witnesses sign your document, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. So, you might also consider giving copies of your advance directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.
Review your document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your agent is no longer able to supervise your wishes.
Your properly finalized document will stay in effect until you revoke it, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your document at any time. The best way to revoke your advance directive is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your advance directive that you have revoked it.
Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.
Learn more about Maryland Living Wills and Advance Directives.
When you make an advance directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Maryland’s advance directive laws and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.