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Advance Care Planning

It’s Your Life, It’s Your Plan

Imagine that you are critically ill or seriously injured and cannot communicate. Would your loved ones know what is important to you? Would they know what medical options and interventions you would choose and which ones you would not want?

CLICK HERE for helpful information on Advance Directives or visit

“It always seems too early, until it’s too late.”

No matter how young or old you are, one important way you can take care of yourself is to complete an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is for everyone, not just patients facing a life-limiting illness or serious injury.

It’s what matters to you, not what’s the matter with you

By completing an Advance Directive you make your wishes known. An Advance Directive is a gift you give your loved ones so that they are confident in helping guide your medical care if you are unable to do so. It alleviates some of the fear and anxiety from an already stressful situation and allows them to make decisions about your medical treatment that you want. By choosing a healthcare agent, you designate the person whom you trust to carry out your wishes if you are unable.

What Matters to Me Workbook

Complete the Advance Care Planning Form and contact an Advance Care Planning Social Worker at 301-360-2574.

To help you think about what your wishes are and how to have conversations with your family about your wishes, please visit

Adults (ages 18 or older) who are mentally competent have the right to make healthcare decisions in advance. For your convenience, we have included this form to complete your Advance Directive. There are two sections when one is completing an advance directive. It’s best to complete both but it’s not required.

In order for your Healthcare Instructions and Appointment of Healthcare Agent to be effective in Maryland, both documents must be:

  • voluntarily executed and made in writing;
  • dated and signed by you;
  • witnessed by two adults, 18 or older, one of whom will not financially benefit from your death;
  • your appointed healthcare agent cannot serve as a witness.

The Advance Care Planning Checklist is a quick reminder of things to complete in the advance directive process. The Comparison of Maryland State Forms explains the differences between the forms used in Maryland for advance care planning.

Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)

While the Advance Directive is for future medical treatment when you cannot speak for yourself, the MOLST form is for current medical treatment you do or do not wish to receive. This order form makes your treatment wishes known to other health care professionals and MUST be signed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. This form does not expire and it goes where you go, to the hospital, rehab, assisted living, and back home. It consolidates important information into provider orders that are valid across the continuum of care. For your convenience, we have included this form for you to review with your provider. Please contact us for more information.

Need Help?

We would be delighted to support you in completing your Advance Directive. Our service and support are at no out of pocket cost to you. For assistance in completing your advance directive, please ask for or contact an Advance Care Planning Social Worker at 301-360-2574.