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Advanced care planning is important for all adults, regardless of how young they are or how healthy they feel. This type of planning is important, because no one knows when a life or death situation will arise. People in Maryland can, however, put in place directives, like a living will, that can speak for them if they are unable to speak for themselves.

People may ask why every mentally competent adult needs to consider advanced care planning, but the answer is simply because even a health young person can be in a life-threatening automobile accident that renders him or her unable to speak for him or herself. With the prevalence of accidents caused by texting while driving and drunk driving, people of all ages are vulnerable to needing decisions about their health care to be made on their behalves. In most cases, however, people are unwilling to think about end-of-life decisions, because talking about death has become taboo.

Advanced directives are important for the living, because they put to rest fears about what may happen if they become unable to speak for themselves. Advanced directives make people personally responsible for their own future health care. When people decide on whom to designate to speak for them in cases of emergency, they should be sure that the chosen people know what their end of life wishes are.

When a Maryland resident  decides that it is time to make decisions in case of his or her future incapacitation, it is often wise to seek the help of a legal professional. An estate planning attorney will be familiar with the laws that govern advanced care planning. In addition, he or she can ensure that all possibilities are considered, and plans are made for all eventualities.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Advance Healthcare Planning Part One: Not Just for Old People", Judith Johnson, June 19, 2015

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