How To Get Medical Power Of Attorney In Georgia

How To Get Medical Power Of Attorney In Georgia

Wondering how to get a medical power of attorney in Georgia? 

In this article, you’ll learn about: 

  • how to get a medical POA
  • what a medical POA is
  • what decisions a medical POA can make for you
  • what to include in your medical POA
  • when the medical POA goes into effect
  • how to get one if the person is incapacitated already
  • medical POA rights and limitations

Let’s dig in. 

Table of Contents

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What Is A Medical Power Of Attorney?

A Medical Power of Attorney is a document that lets one person give another person the authority to make health decisions for them if they can’t. 

The person creating it is the “principal,” and the chosen decision-maker is the “agent.” 

This includes choices about treatments or surgeries. 

It ensures someone can act on the principal’s health wishes if they become unable to decide for themselves.

What Does A Medical Power Of Attorney Do?

A Medical Power of Attorney allows the appointed agent to make a variety of healthcare decisions for the principal. 

Here’s a list of decisions an agent might be able to make.

(But it depends on the specifics of the POA document.)

  • Medical Treatments: Decide on surgeries, procedures, or medications.
  • Choice of Healthcare Providers: Select or change doctors, specialists, or other healthcare professionals.
  • Medical Records: Access and release medical records.
  • End-of-Life Decisions: Make choices about life support, resuscitation, and other life-sustaining treatments.
  • Hospital Admittance and Discharge: Decide when to admit or discharge from a hospital or other medical facility.
  • Medication Approvals: Consent to or refuse certain medications.
  • Mental Health Care: Decide on therapies or treatments for mental health issues.
  • Long-Term Care: Choose facilities or services for rehab, long-term care, or hospice.
  • Organ and Tissue Donation: Decide on donating organs or tissues after death.
  • Post-Mortem Decisions: Make choices about autopsy and disposition of the body.

How To Get Medical Power Of Attorney In Georgia

Here’s how to get a medical power of attorney in Georgia:

  • Understand the Document: It lets you pick someone to decide on your health care if you can’t. This person is often called an “agent” or “health care proxy“.
  • Get the Form: Find the Medical Power of Attorney form for your state. You can often get it from hospitals, doctor’s offices, or online legal sites.
  • Pick Your Agent: Choose someone you trust to decide about your health care.
  • Fill Out the Form: Write down your health care wishes. This can include treatments you want or don’t want.
  • Have Witnesses Sign: Two adults must see you sign and then sign the form themselves. They should not be family members or beneficiaries of your will. At least one should not work for your healthcare provider.
  • Store the Form: Keep the document in a place where the right people can find it. Give copies to your agent, doctor, and family.
  • Update When Needed: If your wishes change, fill out a new form and give copies to the right people.

What To Include In Your Medical POA For Georgia

Here’s what you should consider including in your Medical POA:

  • Name of the Principal: This is you, the person creating the POA.
  • Name of the Agent: Specify the person (often called the agent, proxy, or surrogate) you are appointing to make healthcare decisions for you. It’s wise to also name an alternate agent in case your primary choice is unavailable or unwilling to act.
  • Specific Powers Granted: Clearly state what decisions the agent can make. This can range from consent to surgery, access to medical records, to end-of-life decisions.
  • Limitations or Restrictions: Detail any specific treatments or interventions you do or do not want. For instance, you might specify if you do not wish to be resuscitated or intubated.
  • Duration: Specify if there’s a start and end date for the POA, or if it remains effective indefinitely until you revoke it or pass away.
  • Instructions for End-of-Life Care: This can be a “living will” component within the POA. Indicate your wishes regarding life support, feeding tubes, and other life-sustaining treatments.
  • Organ Donation: State whether you wish to donate organs or tissues upon death.
  • Access to Medical Records: Mention if the agent has the right to access your medical records, which can be essential for making informed decisions.
  • Primary Care Physician: Identify your primary care physician and their contact information.
  • Signature and Date: Sign and date the document. Depending on the state, you might also need witnesses and/or notarization for the document to be valid.
  • Contact Information: Provide addresses and phone numbers for both the principal and the agent.
  • Revocation Clause: Include a statement on how and when you can revoke or change the POA.
  • Backup or Alternate Agents: Name alternate agents in case the primary agent is unable or unwilling to act.

When Does Medical Power Of Attorney Take Effect?

In Georgia, a Medical Power of Attorney takes effect when:

  • A person can’t make their own health care decisions.
  • A physician determines that the person lacks the ability to understand their medical situation or communicate their wishes.
  • The physician’s determination is in writing.

Once these conditions are met, the appointed agent can make medical decisions for the individual.

How To Get A Power Of Attorney When Someone Is In The Hospital

Let’s say someone is already in the hospital and incapacitated.

Getting a Medical Power of Attorney for them becomes more challenging.

This is because the person must be of sound mind to grant a Medical POA. 

In this scenario, other legal processes might be more appropriate.

Here is how to get a power of attorney when someone is in the hospital and incapacitated:

  • Guardianship Petition: Since the person is incapacitated, you might need to petition the court for guardianship or conservatorship. This allows you to make medical (and possibly financial) decisions for the person.
  • Provide Evidence: You’ll need to show the court evidence of the person’s incapacity. This might involve medical records, doctor’s statements, or other forms of documentation that clearly state the person cannot make decisions on their own.
  • Attend a Hearing: The court will hold a hearing to assess the evidence and listen to any objections. The incapacitated person has a right to be represented by an attorney during this process.
  • Court Decision: If the judge approves the guardianship, they will issue an order. This order gives the guardian the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.
  • Regular Reporting: As a guardian, you might be required to submit periodic reports to the court, detailing the medical decisions you’ve made and the well-being of the person under your care.

Read More: Power Of Attorney vs Guardianship

Medical Power Of Attorney Rights And Limitations

A Medical POA lets the “principal,” give the “agent,” the authority to make healthcare decisions for the principal if they can’t do it themselves.

Rights of the Agent with a Medical POA:

  • Make Healthcare Decisions: The agent can decide on medical treatments or procedures for the principal.
  • Access Medical Records: The agent can view the principal’s health records to make informed choices.
  • Choose Healthcare Providers: The agent can pick doctors, hospitals, or other providers.
  • End-of-Life Choices: If stated in the POA, the agent can make decisions on life support or other end-of-life treatments.

Limitations of the Medical POA:

  • Defined by the Document: The agent can only do what the POA allows. If it doesn’t mention a specific decision, the agent might not be able to make that choice.
  • Cannot Override Known Wishes: If the principal has clearly stated certain wishes (like not wanting a specific treatment), the agent should respect those.
  • Cannot Make Non-medical Choices: This POA only covers health decisions. It doesn’t let the agent decide on things like the principal’s finances.
  • Can’t Break the Law: The agent must follow the law. They can’t, for example, approve illegal procedures.

In short, a Medical POA lets an agent make healthcare decisions for someone else.

But only within the limits set by the document and the law.

FAQs About How To Get Medical Power Of Attorney In Georgia

Here are other questions clients ask us about medical power of attorneys in Georgia.

Is There A Difference Between A Power Of Attorney And A Medical Power Of Attorney?

Yes, there is a difference between a Georgia power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. 

A Power of Attorney (POA) gives someone the authority to act on another person’s behalf. 

It can cover a range of tasks like paying bills, managing property, or handling other financial matters.

A Medical Power of Attorney specifically allows someone to make medical decisions for another person. 

It’s used when the person can’t make health choices themselves.

In short, while a POA covers a broad range of actions, a Medical POA focuses only on healthcare decisions.

Can A Power Of Attorney Put Someone In A Nursing Home?

Yes, a Power of Attorney (POA) can allow an agent to place someone in a nursing home. 

But, the POA document must specifically grant this authority. 

The agent must always act in the best interests of the person they represent. 

Let’s say the document does not mention nursing home placement or limits this power.

The agent can’t make that decision to put someone in a nursing home. 

Always check the specific terms in the POA.

Is Power Of Attorney Responsible For Nursing Home Bills?

A power of attorney is not personally responsible for paying nursing home bills. 

But a power of attorney is responsible for making sure nursing home bills are paid from the principal’s funds.

Holding a POA for someone doesn’t make you personally responsible for their nursing home bills.

However, the agent must manage the principal’s money properly. 

If they misuse funds meant for the nursing home, there could be legal consequences. 

So, while the agent isn’t personally liable, they must ensure bills are paid using the principal’s assets.

Can You Get A Medical And Financial Power Of Attorney?

Yes, you can get both a Medical and Financial Power of Attorney (POA).

A Medical POA lets someone make health decisions for you if you can’t.

A Financial POA lets someone handle your money and property matters.

You can have two separate documents or combine them, but clarity is key.

 Always specify the powers you’re granting in each document.

Read More: Does Guardianship Override Power Of Attorney?

Does Durable Power Of Attorney Cover Medical Decisions?

A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) remains in effect even if the person who created it becomes incapacitated. 

However, a standard Durable POA covers financial and legal decisions. 

For medical decisions, you typically need a separate document called a Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy. 

Always check the specific wording in the POA to see what it covers. 

In short, a Durable POA doesn’t automatically cover medical decisions; a separate medical document is usually needed.

Can A Power Of Attorney Override A Living Will?

In general, a POA cannot override a living will.

A living will states a person’s wishes for end-of-life medical care. 

A Power of Attorney (POA) names someone to make medical decisions for that person.

The living will sets out clear instructions, and the person with the POA should follow them. 

However, let’s say there’s any ambiguity or something not covered in the living will.

The person with the POA can make decisions based on what they believe the individual would want.

So, while a POA can help clarify or make decisions outside of the living will’s scope, it typically cannot go against its clear instructions.

Read More: Georgia Living Will And Durable Power Of Attorney

Get A Medical Power Of Attorney In Georgia

If you want help setting up a medical POA in Georgia, fill out the form below. 

At The Hive Law, we understand the importance of:

  • doctors following your medical decisions
  • your family (and you) being in control
  • your family following your wishes
  • doctors NOT giving you medical procedures you don’t agree with

We only accommodate a limited number of clients each month.

So don’t miss your opportunity to work with our power of attorney lawyers.

Benefits of our POA services:

  • Tailored solutions to fit your unique needs and goals
  • Expert guidance in navigating complex medical matters
  • Preservation of your medical decisions and wishes
  • Streamlined decision making when you’re incapacitated

Avoid the pitfalls of inadequate estate planning strategies:

  • Doctors do what they think is best for you
  • Family members don’t follow your instructions
  • The courts may not grant the person you want to have decision making power
  • Your family can’t make decisions for you

Talk soon.

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We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)

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