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Without having any close family, many Maryland residents may have felt a sense of freedom. They likely enjoyed the idea that they held no familial obligations and could handle their lives as they pleased. However, at some point, they may begin to wonder what will happen to them in the event that they suffer a serious illness or injury. Luckily, creating a living will can help.

Even without close family, appointing a power of attorney agent and detailing health care wishes can prove beneficial. By taking these steps, a person can ensure that his or her care is properly attended to by a trusted individual named as the health care agent. This agent does not have to be a family member; therefore, even those without familial ties can benefit from appointing a trusted person. 

Additionally, a living will or advance directive can also help the appointed agent. This document can detail how an individual wants his or her care handled in the event that incapacitation occurs. This type of document can prove especially useful in situations where a party is on life support or has a terminal diagnosis. 

Individuals in Maryland may wish to consider the idea of creating a living will and making power of attorney appointments no matter what their family life is like. The benefits of planning ahead can far outweigh the idea that a plan is not needed because there are no close relatives. Therefore, parties looking to get started on their planning should enlist the assistance of experienced attorneys to start their planning journey.

Source: CNBC, "Planning your estate when you've got no children or heirs", Sarah O'Brien, May 31, 2017

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