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What should you know about powers of attorney in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Estate Planning

End-of-life plans help to communicate your wishes in case you become incapacitated and can’t articulate your needs and preferences yourself. You need to engage in this kind of planning regarding medical care, at minimum.

Planning for medical care in the event of incapacity is rather involved. You’ll have to determine who you want to make decisions for you, but you’ll also need to outline some of your wishes in writing.

Understanding advance directives in Georgia

Advance directives in Georgia are legal documents that serve two specific purposes. They enable someone to name a healthcare agent and they provide an outline of the healthcare wishes for the person. These both go into effect if it’s determined that the person is incapacitated and can’t make or relay their decisions on their own.

Appointing a healthcare agent

A healthcare agent has the power to make healthcare decisions on the creator’s behalf. They work closely with the medical care team and their decisions can’t go against the treatment preferences in the advance directives.

The chosen agent should be someone trustworthy and familiar with the individual’s values and desires regarding healthcare. Individuals need to have in-depth discussions with their potential healthcare agents to ensure their wishes are clearly understood and agreed upon.

Specifying treatment preferences

The advance directive also allows individuals to specify their preferences for medical treatment, particularly concerning life-sustaining measures. This may include instructions on administering or withholding treatments such as mechanical ventilation, resuscitation or artificial nutrition and hydration under certain medical conditions.

The importance of documentation and communication

For an advance directive to be effective in Georgia, it must be properly documented and communicated. Individuals should ensure their advance directives are legally valid and accessible. Their healthcare agents, family members and healthcare providers should know the document’s existence and contents.

Seeking legal assistance when getting the advance directives set up is beneficial so creators know that they’ve covered all necessary bases. Regularly reviewing and updating an advance directive is also recommended, as individuals’ preferences and relationships may change over time.