Georgia Incapacity Planning Lawyers

Georgia Incapacity Planning Lawyers

What is incapacity planning in Georgia? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • what incapacity planning involves
  • what Georgia incapacity planning lawyers do
  • what components of incapacity planning you need to consider

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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What Is Incapacity Planning?

Incapacity planning in Georgia involves making legal arrangements to protect yourself and your assets in case you become unable to make decisions due to illness or injury. 

It includes documents like a power of attorney, living will, and guardianship designation. 

These documents appoint trusted individuals to handle your financial, healthcare, and personal affairs if you are incapacitated.

Incapacity planning ensures that your wishes are respected and helps avoid legal complications. 

What Is Incapacity?

Incapacity is a state where a person can’t make or communicate decisions. 

This inability may be due to illness, mental decline, or injury.

It can be temporary or permanent. 

For example, a person might be incapacitated during surgery or from a long-term condition like dementia.

Incapacity impacts a person’s ability to manage personal affairs. 

This includes financial decisions and health choices.

When a person is incapacitated, they need others to make decisions for them. 

Legal documents like a power of attorney or an advance healthcare directive can designate these decision-makers.

What Do Georgia Incapacity Planning Lawyers Do?

Georgia incapacity planning lawyers help people prepare for the possibility of becoming unable to manage their own affairs.

They explain the importance of incapacity planning and its components.

They assist in drafting legal documents like durable power of attorney, living wills, and advance healthcare directives.

They help clients choose the right representatives for power of attorney and healthcare decisions.

They guide in setting up trusts, which can be used to manage assets if the client becomes incapacitated.

They ensure all documents comply with Georgia’s specific laws and requirements.

They also provide advice on managing digital assets during incapacity.

Their goal is to ensure that a person’s wishes are respected and carried out if they become unable to make decisions for themselves.

Who Makes Medical Decisions If There Is No Power Of Attorney In Georgia?

In Georgia, if there is no power of attorney in place, medical decisions are typically made according to the state’s hierarchy of decision-makers. 

The following individuals, in order of priority, may make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person:

  • Spouse: The spouse of the incapacitated person has the first priority to make medical decisions.
  • Adult Children: If there is no spouse or the spouse is unavailable, adult children of the incapacitated person can make medical decisions.
  • Parents: If the incapacitated person has no spouse or adult children, their parents have the authority to make medical decisions.
  • Siblings: In the absence of a spouse, adult children, and parents, siblings of the incapacitated person may make medical decisions.

What Does Georgia Incapacity Planning Include?

Incapacity planning in Georgia includes: 

  • power of attorneys
  • a living will and healthcare proxy
  • guardianship designations
  • trusts

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows someone (the agent) to act on another person’s (the principal’s) behalf.

In Georgia, there are three main types of POA: general, durable, and springing.

  • A general POA gives the agent broad powers to act on the principal’s behalf. It becomes void if the principal becomes incapacitated.
  • A durable POA remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This is important for incapacity planning.
  • A springing POA only becomes effective under certain conditions, often when the principal becomes incapacitated.

Appointing a trusted agent is vital. 

This person will manage financial and legal affairs.

So they must be reliable and trustworthy.

Georgia has specific laws about POA. 

The document must be:

  • in writing
  • signed by the principal
  • witnessed by a notary public

Georgia law requires the agent to:

  • act in the principal’s best interests
  • avoid conflicts of interest
  • keep detailed financial records

The principal can revoke a POA anytime, as long as they are mentally competent.

In Georgia, a POA can grant wide-ranging or limited powers. 

This depends on the wording of the document.

In summary, a POA is a critical part of incapacity planning in Georgia. 

It allows trusted individuals to manage affairs if someone cannot do so themselves.

Living Will and Healthcare Proxy

A living will and healthcare proxy are critical in incapacity planning in Georgia.

A living will states your healthcare preferences if you can’t communicate them yourself. 

It typically covers end-of-life care decisions, like resuscitation and life support.

A healthcare proxy, also known as a healthcare power of attorney, names a person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable. 

This person is your healthcare agent.

The difference between the two is in their function. 

A living will outlines specific wishes, while a healthcare proxy appoints someone to make decisions for you.

When choosing a healthcare agent, consider their:

  • willingness to act
  • understanding of your values
  • ability to handle stress
  • geographical location

It’s wise to have an open conversation about your healthcare preferences with this person.

To ensure your healthcare wishes are respected, create an advance directive. 

This combines a living will and a healthcare proxy. 

Be clear in documenting your choices. 

Share copies of the advance directive with your:

  • healthcare provider
  • appointed agent
  • family

Make sure to review and update your advance directive periodically or when your health changes. 

This ensures that it always reflects your current wishes.

Guardianship Designation

A guardianship designation in Georgia is a legal tool used to appoint someone to manage the personal and financial affairs of a minor or incapacitated adult. 

This is often used in incapacity planning.

The purpose of guardianship is to protect and care for those who cannot care for themselves due to incapacity or minority.

The guardian’s role in incapacity planning is to manage the ward’s health, education, and welfare, along with any assets or income.

When selecting a guardian for minor children or incapacitated adults, factors to consider include their:

  • relationship with the person
  • ability to act in the person’s best interest
  • willingness to take on the responsibility

The legal requirements for establishing guardianship in Georgia involve a court process. 

The person proposing to be the guardian must apply to the court, showing that the potential ward is indeed incapacitated or a minor and that the proposed guardian is suitable.

The court considers factors such as the potential guardian’s:

  • character
  • history
  • physical capacity
  • skills 

A background check is typically conducted.

After appointing a guardian, the court maintains oversight. 

The guardian must regularly report on the ward’s condition and how the ward’s assets are being managed.

Guardianship is a serious commitment with substantial responsibilities. 

It should be carefully considered as part of incapacity planning.


In incapacity planning in Georgia, a trust is a legal arrangement that holds assets for beneficiaries.

Two types of trusts are commonly used in incapacity planning. 

These are the revocable living trust and the irrevocable living trust.

A revocable living trust can be changed or canceled by the person who created it. 

This trust helps manage and protect assets during incapacity.

An irrevocable living trust cannot be easily changed or canceled. 

This trust provides potential benefits like:

  • reducing estate taxes 
  • protecting assets from creditors

Using trusts has benefits. 

One benefit is that they avoid probate, saving time and money. 

They also keep personal affairs private since trusts are not public records.

However, setting up and managing a trust can be complex. 

There are also costs involved, including attorney’s fees and ongoing administrative costs.

The trustee is in charge of managing the trust. 

They act in the best interest of the beneficiary.

When choosing a trustee, consider their:

  • honesty
  • dependability
  • ability to handle financial matters

Also, consider if they can make potentially difficult decisions.

And if they’re likely to outlive the person creating the trust.

Keep in mind that professional trustees are available, including our own trust lawyers

Get Help With Incapacity Planning In Georgia

If you want help from Georgia planning lawyers, fill out the form below. 

At The Hive Law, we understand the importance of:

  • protecting your hard-earned assets 
  • ensuring your family’s future
  • not losing everything to creditors and lawsuits
  • properly (and legally) distributing assets 

We only accommodate a limited number of clients each month.

So don’t miss your opportunity to work with our estate planning lawyers.

Benefits of our incapacity planning services:

  • Tailored solutions to fit your unique needs and goals
  • Expert guidance in navigating complex tax and legal matters
  • Preservation of your wealth for future generations
  • Streamlined asset distribution according to your wishes

Avoid the pitfalls of inadequate estate planning strategies:

  • Creditors seizing your assets
  • Lawsuits jeopardizing your family’s financial security
  • Family disputes over inheritance
  • Costly and time-consuming probate processes

Talk soon.

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