As noted, your estate plan also should include a separate durable power of attorney to give medical directives concerning medical, therapeutic or surgical procedures, including the administration of drugs. This document becomes extremely important in the event you are incapacitated and need your spouse to make effective, efficient health care decisions for you. Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia law also permit you to make a written declaration known as a “living will”, which essentially is an expression of your decision to have provided, withheld or withdrawn certain medical procedures that could prolong life. Each of these documents can be tailored to suit your individual needs. In some states like Florida, a separate living will is required, so we typically execute the medical directive (or health care power of attorney) and the living will as separate documents satisfying the requirements of as many states as possible.

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