Georgia Advance Directive

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A Georgia Advance Directive is similar to the Power of Attorney when it comes to affairs of your healthcare. This critical document outlines instructions and future wishes for your healthcare, including decisions around palliative care, life support, and more.

Author: Paul Black

Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as  a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: May 23, 2019. Last updated on: July 13, 2019.

Georgia Advance Directive

Georgia Advance Directive section

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The Georgia Advance Directive is a necessary document for anyone living in the Peach State who wants to plan for his or her future responsibly. No one wants to consider the potential eventuality of being incapacitated and unable to convey how they wish to proceed, or even if they wish to proceed with their life. Unfortunately, unexpected things happen to well-meaning people every day.

Even if you have an existing power of attorney and living will, completing the newer Georgia Advance Directive is advised by most elder law and estate planning lawyers, including the Law Office of Paul Black. The forms are readily available and straightforward to fill out.

The History of the GA Advance Directive

To reduce confusion and the use of out-of-date terminology, the Georgia legislature and the Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services introduced the GA Advance Directive on July 1, 2007. This combined the living will with a power of attorney for healthcare into one comprehensive and easy-to-understand document. 

The Georgia Advance Directive is much easier for responsible residents to complete the form, thereby sharing their wishes for the future health and life of Georgia seniors and their families.

Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care

According to the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care information found here:

“Before any action can be taken to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining procedures or to withdraw or withhold nourishment or hydration for a declarant in a state of permanent unconsciousness or is in a terminal condition, that condition must be certified in writing. The attending physician and one other physician must personally examine the declarant and certify in writing based upon the declarant’s condition found during the course of their examination and in accordance with current accepted medical standards that the declarant does meet the criteria for terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness as defined above.”

Prior to 2007, Georgians might fill out two separate forms: a living will and a power of attorney for health care.

  1. A living will documents your treatment wishes
  2. Power of attorney allows you to name someone to make your healthcare decisions

The individual forms were so complicated that they were relatively ineffective and limited Georgians actually utilized them. The contemporary substitute, the Georgia Advance Directive, is more straight-forward, and an experienced power of attorney counselor can always offer advice.

Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care

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What Does a Georgia Health Care Directive Do?

The purpose of having a Georgia Health Care Directive is to have a legal document on file regarding your healthcare. The Georgia Advance Directive enables you to do the following four things:

  1. Appoint a Health Care Agent
  2. Express Your Treatment Preferences
  3. Name a Preferred Guardian
  4. Share Your Final Arrangements

A Georgia Advance Directive and a lawyer with experience in incapacity planning in Georgia allow responsible adults to prepare for the crucial and hopefully unnecessary events in their lives.

Why Do You Need an Advance Directive Georgia?

You should have an Advance Directive Georgia in place in order to prepare for the unforeseen occasions and problems that life often presents. If something happens that prohibits you from being able to express your wishes and instructions to the hospital, your doctor, and family members, this form will act in your stead.

Since your instructions are detailed in an easy-to-complete legal form, it will potentially prevent your family from spending unnecessary money and time in the legal system arguing about what they imagine your wishes might have been. Consulting with an attorney and filing a Georgia Advance Directive before it is too late will save heartache and expenses in the future.


What Do You Do with an Advance Directives Georgia?

Once you have completed an Advance Directives Georgia, you must sign it along with two witnesses. Then, you need to distribute copies to your healthcare representative, doctors, and any medical center that is likely to treat you.

If your Advance Directive is not in the hands of those who need to know your healthcare instructions, it is unlikely that the necessary steps will be performed in accordance with your desires. In other words, completing the form will be a waste of time.

These are difficult decisions that many find hard to confront. Consulting with a reputable law firm can provide clarity, support, and understanding.

Understanding the Advance Directive Laws in Georgia

According to the Advance Directive Laws in Georgia, you are totally in control of your healthcare instructions. If your desires change at any time, you can withdraw your existing directive and fill out a new one that more accurately expresses your revised wishes. Then, you must notify everyone who has a copy, including your estate lawyer, so they can return their copies to you to be replaced.

Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare

A Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare generally includes a variety of types of potential issues. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Admission to or discharge from a hospital
  • Admission to or discharge from hospice, a nursing home, or other medical facilities
  • Authorizing after-death donations
  • Authorizing an autopsy and disposal of remains
  • HIPAA requests
  • Palliative Care
  • Withholding or withdrawing food and water or other life-prolonging procedures

With a Georgia Advance Directive, you can define your care for a variety of circumstances. If, however, your wishes are fairly basic, you could choose to leave all your healthcare decisions to your physician and representative to act in your best interest. Your estate attorney can best advise you on this matter.

Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare

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Choosing a GA Advance Directive for Healthcare Representative

When planning your GA Advance Directive for Healthcare, you must designate somebody who you trust to act as your healthcare representative. A few of the popular choices for healthcare agent include:

  • Immediate family member
  • Close friend
  • Your attorney

Although it is also a popular option to have two representatives in case one is unavailable, you can not name any member of a healthcare facility where you might receive treatment, as it could be a conflict of interest.

Georgia Living Will or Advance Directive

Georgia Living Will

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Although there are very few differences between a Georgia Living Will and an Advance Directive, the majority of people are not aware of what they are. Many do not even know what an Advance Directive is.

Fortunately, a qualified Georgia will attorney can quickly detail the idiosyncrasies of each. Basically, the Georgia Advance Directive combines the purposes of the living will and power of attorney for healthcare.


Difference Between Living Will and Advance Directive in Georgia

So, what is the difference between a living will and advance directive in Georgia? The living will is a written voluntary document completed in accordance with Code Section 31-32-1. An advance directive is completed with the requirements of Code Section 31-32-5 and combines the living will with a power of attorney.

In Georgia Does the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare Override a Living Will?

Many individuals who have already attended this matter wonder, “In Georgia, does the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare override a living will?”

As previously mentioned, the Advance Directive is the newer, easier, and more comprehensive form that combines the living will with the power of attorney. To override the living will, you would merely need to complete the Georgia Advance Directive, destroy every copy of your living will, and distribute the new documents to the appropriate people. This includes your healthcare agent and legal representation.


Filling out a Georgia Living Will Form

Fortunately, as it is such a vital document, filling out a Georgia Living Will Form is relatively easy. This voluntary document directs when and how the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures should occur when and if you are in a coma, persistent vegetative state, or have a terminal condition.

Hiring an Attorney to Assist with Your Advance Directive GA

All estate planning issues are complex enough to warrant legal advice, and your advance directive GA is no exception. When seeking a knowledgeable and reliable attorney for your Georgia Advance Directive, it is wise to do your homework. Check law office reviews on well-established websites to weigh your options.


Finding an Advance Directive Form Georgia

Given that it is part of the Georgia Code, the Advance Directive Form Georgia is free and available for anyone over the age of 18. You can find a free Georgia Advance Directive form here.

When it comes to planning for life-altering situations that you hope to never deal with, it is always best to discuss your options with a qualified lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Paul Black for informed advice regarding elder law and estate planning.

Advance Directive GA

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The Law Office of Paul Black

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Decatur Office Location:
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The Law Office of Paul Black

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Dunwoody Office Location:
2002 Summit Blvd, Suite 300 Atlanta, Georgia 30319

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