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Quickly create your Maryland health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive forms in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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Maryland health care directive options to suit your needs

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase


Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

Benefits of having a Maryland health care directive

Health care directives ensure your health care wishes are known and carried out if you become infirm. Patients can leave individual instructions about end-of-life care and life-sustaining treatments. This way, family members and health care providers will know your treatment preferences and be able to make decisions on your behalf.

FindLaw can help you create a customized Maryland health care directive to protect your interests and reduce stress on your family and medical team.


Written by:

Linda Long, J.D.

Contributing Author


Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to make my Maryland health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Choose your health care agent

health care agent is a proxy whose job is to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make such decisions for yourself. Your agent should be an adult that you trust to advocate for you if you become incapacitated. Your agent must make decisions based on your wishes and not the opinions of family or friends.

You should also consider finding an alternate agent. Your alternate agent should share the same trustworthy and decisive qualities as your primary agent. Remember that another agent will not make health care decisions for you unless your principal agent cannot or will not do so.

Make health care planning decisions

The purpose of having a health care directive is to make crucial health care decisions for yourself while you can. It is hard to think of not being able to speak, being permanently unconscious, or not advocating for yourself. Therefore, a health care directive is an essential part of your medical records so that in the event of incapacitation, your decisions will already have been made.

Some medical treatment preferences that you may want to consider when completing your health care directive include:

  • Whether you want to allow natural death or remain on life support in the case of a terminal condition
  • If you wish to stay on life support if you are in a persistent vegetative state
  • Preferences for care in your end-stage condition
  • Preferences for pain relief

Sign your health care directive

Maryland state law provides that you must sign your health care directive in the presence of two adult witnesses.

Notarize your document

Notarization is not required in Maryland for your signature or the signature of the witnesses. However, it may be prudent to have the signatures notarized if your witnesses cannot verify their signatures. A notary page removes the need to have your witnesses independently verify their signatures.

Share and store your document

Your health care directive should be included in your medical records. Consult your health care agent about ensuring that your health care directive is available to your medical team when you are hospitalized. Keep your document in a safe place and give a copy to the person you named as your health care agent.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
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Ready to start your Maryland health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Maryland health care directive commonly asked questions

A health care directive, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document under Maryland law that states your medical treatment preferences in the event of your incapacity. This document protects you by keeping you in control of your medical care even if you cannot communicate your wishes.

In Maryland, a legally valid health care directive must be:

  • Voluntarily made
  • In writing
  • Dated
  • Signed by the declarant (you)
  • Signed by two witnesses

An agent’s authority is limited only when you are incapacitated, meaning you cannot speak or communicate your medical treatment preferences. However, you can choose when your agent’s authority begins. You can choose to have decision-making authority when you sign the document or have the power come into effect once you become incapacitated.

A health care directive can be revoked by the declarant (the person making the health care directive) at any time. In Maryland, a declarant can revoke a health care directive by:

  • A signed and dated writing revoking the document
  • A statement withdrawing the health care directive to the declarant’s attending physician
  • Writing a new health care directive
  • Destroying the document (e.g., burning, tearing, shredding, etc.)

No, creating a health care directive and naming an agent does not mandate the agent to pay any of your health care costs.

You do not need to hire an attorney to make a legally valid Maryland health care directive. FindLaw’s team of attorneys has created a form that will take you step-by-step through the process of completing your document from the comfort of your own home!

FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you have a complex case, or would like a lawyer’s review of your estate planning documents, please visit our directory to find a lawyer near you.

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