In Maryland and across the United States, the current health care situation is bringing to light the critical importance of estate planning. People of all ages frequently ignore how their assets can be impacted by failing to have an estate plan and, along with that, what will happen to their loved ones. Individually, people also need to consider their wishes if they become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on their own. This is when it is wise to consider an advance directive. Legal assistance with estate planning can be imperative with these concerns.
Understanding a health care agent in an advance directive
There are many important aspects in an advance directive and one of the most crucial roles is that of the health care agent. For those who have become incapacitated, the health care agent will make the decisions in that person’s stead. The person can name anyone he or she wants to serve in this role.
It is wise to select someone who is trustworthy. The health care agent is legally able to meet with health care professionals and receive personal information while making decisions as to the care provided. This is fundamental as it can also allow the agent to state not only what care will be given, but what care will not be given including medication, artificial breathing and a feeding tube. The document can have health care instructions already listed beforehand. If the person does not want artificial life support, CPR, certain medications and other care, this will be detailed and the medical professionals are obligated to adhere to it.
Comprehensive estate planning often requires legal representation
People may hesitate when thinking about estate planning due to the admission that life is finite. Still, creating an estate plan with an advance directive is a protective device to ensure that the person and his or her family is shielded. Understanding the process and tailoring the document to a person’s needs is essential. This is true with selecting the health care agent and any other aspect of the estate plan. For advice and guidance, a firm with experience in estate planning may be able to help.