Did you know that living wills offer guidance to doctors, provide clarity and closure for family members, and reduce the likelihood that family members will have disagreements?
A living will, more commonly known in Georgia as a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare, is an important document.
It outlines your wishes for end-of-life medical treatment in the event that you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.
It’s a crucial tool to ensure that your wishes are respected and carried out. This is why it’s so important to take the time to make one that accurately reflects your desires.
To make it easier for you to get started with writing a living will, we have written a guide that breaks down the most common questions and concerns that people have. Keep reading if you are interested in finding out more.
What’s the Difference Between a Will, a Living Will, and a Living Trust?
A will is a legal document that breaks down how you would like your personal items to be distributed at the end of your life. It can also include provisions for guardianship of any minor children.
The Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare, on the other hand, is a document that outlines your wishes for medical treatment in the event that you become incapacitated and not able to make your own decisions.
It can include things like whether or not you want to be kept on life support, or if you want certain medical procedures to be performed.
A living trust is a type of legal arrangement where you create a trust during your lifetime. It holds the legal title to your assets.
It can be either revocable, meaning you can change or terminate it at any time, or irrevocable, meaning that you cannot change it once you create it.
The purpose of a living trust is to avoid probate, which is the legal process of transferring assets from your estate to your beneficiaries after you are gone.
You can also use it to manage assets on behalf of a minor or incapacitated individual.
Is It Necessary to Have a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?
Whether or not it is necessary for you to have a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare will depend on your personal circumstances and wishes.
If you do not want doctors to provide you with treatments in the event of incapacitation, this directive will ensure that healthcare providers honor your wishes.
If you do not have a living will, your family members or healthcare providers will be responsible for making decisions about your medical treatment.
This can lead to conflict and confusion. Different people may have different ideas about what is best for you. A living will can help avoid these situations by clearly stating your wishes.
How Do You Create a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?
It is easier to create a living will and trust than most people think. Here are the steps that you need to take to create a living will.
Find a Lawyer
Consult with a lawyer to obtain a living will template. This template will outline the necessary information and language to include in your living will.
Determine Your Medical Treatment Wishes
This can include things like whether or not you want to be kept on life support. It will also explain if you want healthcare professionals to perform certain medical procedures.
Write Your Will and Have It Reviewed
Fill out the living will template with your personal information and medical treatment wishes. Be sure to include any specific instructions or preferences you have.
You will then need to have your living will be reviewed by a lawyer to ensure it is legally binding and properly executed.
Sign Your Living Will and Make Copies
Have your living will witnessed and signed. In most states, this requires at least two witnesses who are not related to you or named in the document.
Make copies of your living will and give them to your healthcare proxy, family members, and any other relevant parties. It is also a good idea to keep a copy in a safe and easily accessible location.
How Much Will a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare Cost?
The cost of creating this document will vary greatly depending on how you choose to go about it. Here are some potential costs to consider when you are preparing to write a living will.
Using a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer to create a living will can be expensive. Costs range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the document and the lawyer’s hourly rate.
Doing It Yourself
If you feel comfortable creating a living will on your own, you can use a free template and do it for no cost other than the cost of printing and any notary fees that may be required.
You should only consider writing your own will if you clearly understand how to do this.
Who Should You Include in Your Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?
When creating a living will, you will need to consider who you want to include in the document.
Some people may choose to include their spouse or significant other. Others may choose to include other family members or close friends.
It may also be helpful to include professionals such as your lawyer or financial advisor in your living will.
This can be especially important if you have a complex retirement plan or other financial arrangements that may need to be addressed in the event of incapacitation.
Where Do You Need to Put Your Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?
It is important to keep your living will in a safe and easily accessible location. Here are some of the best options for storing your living will.
With Your Lawyer
Many people choose to keep their living will with their lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to provide safe storage and ensure that the document is easily accessible in the event that it is needed.
With a Family Member
You may also choose to give a copy of your living will to a trusted family member or friend and ask them to keep it in a safe place. Make sure that this family member or friend has a secure place to store your will.
At Your Home
You can also keep a copy of your living will at home, either in a safe or with other important documents. Just be sure to let your healthcare proxy and any other relevant parties know where it is located.
With Your Healthcare Provider
Some healthcare providers may offer to keep a copy of your living will on file for safekeeping. Don’t forget to check with them about their policies and procedures for storing these documents.
Advice for Writing a Living Will in Georgia
In Georgia, you can create a living will by completing a form called the “Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care.”
This form allows you to specify the types of medical treatment you do or do not wish to receive, including things like life support, pain management, artificial nutrition, and hydration.
You can also appoint a healthcare agent, who will have the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
It is important to keep in mind that a living will only apply to end-of-life care decisions, and does not cover other healthcare matters.
If you wish to have more comprehensive control over your healthcare decisions, you may want to consider creating a healthcare power of attorney in addition to a living will.
It is also a good idea to review and update your living will regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects your current wishes. You can revoke or change your living will at any time as long as you are competent to do so.
What Happens if You Have a Health Issue While Traveling?
Your living will should be valid and effective regardless of where you are, as long as it is properly executed and follows the laws of the state in which it was created.
If you are traveling, you may also want to consider carrying a copy with you in case of an emergency.
Start Writing a Living Will Today
It is a great idea to have a living will. This document will provide your loved ones, caretaker, and lawyer with valuable information about what your wishes are if you are not able to make decisions for yourself.
To get started writing a living will, consider working with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning and elderly law.
Are you ready to create a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare? If so, don’t hesitate to visit our services page to find out about how we can help you!