Marietta Estate Planning in the Comfort of Your Home

Basics on the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care

A lot of new clients are confused about the health care documents they may need in the event of an accident or a debilitating illness. They often tell me they need a living will or a health care power of attorney, because that’s what they read online or were told by a friend.

However, in 2007 Georgia came out with a statutory form governing health care wishes, called the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care. It was intended to replace both the living will and the durable power of attorney. It’s a fairly easy to understand form, making it easy for Georgia’s citizens to make their health care wishes known. It is also available free online, and it’s a fill in the blank form, which also encourages individuals to complete it.

The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care has two primary purposes – to allow someone to name another person to make health care decisions for him/her in the event the individual becomes unable to do so, and also to make wishes regarding life support known. The form also allows a guardian to be nominated in the event a court determines a guardian is necessary.

Once a health care agent is appointed, the health care agent has numerous powers: to consent to or withhold any and all types of medical care, to enter into contracts for health care for the declarant, to ride in an ambulance with the declarant, to see the declarant’s medical records, to donate the declarant’s organs, and to arrange a burial or cremation. In addition to the primary health care agent named in the document, usually one or two backup agents are named, in the event the primary agent is unwilling or unable to serve.

Do you have any questions about the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare? Call me, Sarah White, Marietta estate planning attorney, at 678-453-6490 to learn more.