Without a living will form in Georgia, you risk:
This article will go over:
So, let’s dig in.
A Georgia living will form is also called an advance directive.
Georgia’s living will forms allow people to express what they want from end-of-life medical care.
They are able to give direction on the type of medical care they do or do not want.
Living will forms in Georgia do not go into effect until you are incapacitated.
Meaning that you have lost cognitive functions and are not of sound mind.
When this happens, you need to be able to communicate your wishes.
For example, let’s say you become terminally ill and go into a coma.
You would be unable to tell the doctors what type of medical treatment you prefer.
So, they are free to do as they see fit.
These decisions that doctors make for you could go against your religion, values, and desires.
What if you got into a major accident and became incapacitated?
Doctors will consult a living will to determine if the patient wants life-sustaining treatment.
This could be assisted breathing or a feeding tube.
If there is no last will and testament, medical decisions are made by the:
If it’s an emergency situation, or no family is present, the doctors will make the decisions.
This is why you need to appoint a health care agent with your living will in Georgia.
A living will is defined as a written statement detailing a person’s desires for medical treatment.
Doctors refer to your living will form when you’re not able to express informed consent.
A living will is a document allowing you to die rather than be kept alive.
In this case, “being kept alive” means living on feeding tubes and breathing machines.
But it only gets references if you are disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery.
A living will form in Georgia is a legal document that doctors HAVE to follow.
It explains the type of medical care and medical procedures you want.
And your Georgia living will form gets used when you have a terminal condition.
Meaning you’re unable to communicate your desires for life-sustaining procedures.
This could be due to an accident, severe illness, dementia, or a coma.
It also guides your family on how to make healthcare decisions about your end of life.
Maybe you told your family you don’t want to be in a persistent vegetative state.
But they cannot bring themselves to execute your wishes.
A living will form gives the doctors the proper guidance you’d want them to have.
And doesn’t leave the decisions you need to be made up to emotions.
Or by the attending physician who may not agree with your desires.
Under Georgia law, the attending physician can do what they want.
Unless you have a Georgia advance directive for health care that gives direction.
This section is a step-by-step walkthrough to fill out our living will form template.
(Fill out the form on this page to get access to our living wills.)
This is going to be your full legal name, address, and date.
Dating a Georgia advance directive for healthcare is very important.
Let’s say you also have a medical power of attorney that was previously created.
Dating these legal documents tells doctors which one is the most up-to-date.
You will be choosing a healthcare agent to make decisions about:
Some more notes on your agent:
While it’s not mandatory, you need to also choose a backup agent.
A backup healthcare agent shall get used if your healthcare agent:
This backup agent can be family members or an estate planning attorney.
For either agent, you will need their full legal name, address, and telephone number.
Your Georgia living will form decides end-of-life medical decisions.
But, the advance directive also gives instructions for after-death scenarios.
This includes things like:
This section only gets used if:
This section gives your physician and healthcare providers your preferences.
This section also allows you to note your treatment preferences for:
You will then denote WHEN physicians should follow your treatment preferences.
The two conditions are:
Ok, so let’s look at your treatment preference options.
There are three main options:
If you select the last option, then you need to select more options you’d like, such as:
You should also fill out an “Additional Statements” section.
This section allows you to note what should happen with medical treatments like:
Your living will form in Georgia will not get carried out if:
Georgia laws only allow your treatment preferences to get carried out if a fetus is unviable.
The declarant (you) choosing a guardian for yourself is an optional section.
Let’s say that the courts determine you are not able to make responsible decisions for:
In this case, the courts will appoint a guardian to take care of you.
But you can appoint a guardian in the event that you need help.
This way, the courts will appoint them instead of a random person.
You can appoint your advance directive healthcare agent or anyone else.
Our estate planning attorneys can guide you through this section.
Signing the Georgia living will form revokes all previously created:
You’ll want to note the start and end date for this to take effect.
If you don’t, it takes effect immediately and lasts indefinitely.
You’ll need to sign this in front of:
To make this a legal living will form in Georgia, it needs:
Before you fill out a living will form, you need to determine what medical decisions to include.
Under state law, your Georgia living will can address decisions like:
You can prepare as much as possible.
And think through every potential emergency scenario.
But your living will may not cover your emergency situation.
In this event, it’s smart to have a medical power of attorney.
This person will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf.
They will be the point of contact for the medical staff.
And they can make decisions on situations not covered in your living will.
Your medical POA understands what types of decisions you want to be made.
And they will make decisions that best align with your desires.
Your medical POA needs to be someone who is emotionally strong.
Because they have to make very tough medical decisions on your behalf.
Georgia state law has a specific set of rules to make your living will form valid.
You (the declarant) will have to sign your living will in front of two witnesses.
And you have to get the living will notarized.
Everyone involved has to be at least 14 years of age.
Without this, your living will form in Georgia is not valid.
And your doctors won’t be able to use it per the code section of living will laws.
They will, then, ask your family how they want to handle your end-of-life treatments.
It’s a good idea to store your living will with your other Georgia estate planning documents.
Places to consider storing your living will are:
This can prevent the loss of documents due to theft, fires, or forgetting their location.
Wherever you store it, someone you trust should know how to access it.
That way, they can give the living will to your doctors.
So, when does a living will go into effect?
A living will form goes into effect when your doctor determines you are incapacitated.
A person is considered incapacitated if they are no longer:
When you’re deemed incapacitated, your doctor certifies this fact in writing.
At this point, your living will goes into effect.
And your doctor will start making medical decisions based on your living will.
Related: How To File A Will
Georgia living wills often get confused with many other legal documents.
Let’s cover the main legal documents that are similar, but different, to living wills.
The main difference between a will and a living will is their function.
A last will and testament directs the distribution of assets after someone passes away.
A living will gives direction for medical care in the event of incapacitation.
There is no real difference between a living will vs advance directive.
They both accomplish the same outcome in Georgia.
There is a major difference between a living will and power of attorney.
A living will give a patient’s medical team direction in the event of incapacitation.
A power of attorney gives another individual the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
There are many uses for a power of attorney.
They can give someone authority to make decisions for you on:
Power of attorney usually goes into effect if someone becomes incapacitated.
There is also a medical power of attorney.
Which allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
This differs from a living will because a:
A healthcare proxy gives authority to make medical decisions to someone else.
While a living will gives explicit direction to the medical staff.
The healthcare proxy makes medical decisions on your behalf.
But it may not be the exact direction you want them to take.
For example, you don’t want to be on life support.
But your children cannot make that decision and decide to keep you on life support.
In this case, a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare are better.
These are the questions we get the most about our living will forms in Georgia.
No, a living will does not need to be notarized to be valid.
But notarizing it makes it “self-proving.”
This means your family doesn’t have to prove to the courts the living will is valid.
Let’s say your family can’t prove that your living will is valid.
The doctors will do what they think is in your best interest.
Yes, even if you have a handwritten, DIY living will, it’s valid in Georgia.
Just make sure it’s:
As long as you follow the living will requirements, online wills are valid.
For a living will form to be valid, it must:
A living will form does not have to get notarized in Georgia.
Notarizing them just helps prove to the courts they are valid.
If you don’t do these things, you will have a holographic will.
Meaning that it’s not a valid living will.
A power of attorney cannot override a living will.
A power of attorney can only assist in supplementary decisions.
But cannot change the wishes you’ve laid out in the living will form.
An advance directive for healthcare is the same thing as a living will.
You are the only person that can change your living will.
A living cannot get changed by a family member.
Paragraph #A family member cannot override your living will in Georgia.
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