How To Fill Out A Living Will Form In Georgia

Living Will Form Georgia - Georgia Living Will Form - Living Will Georgia

Without a living will form in Georgia, you risk:

  • Doctors making decisions for you
  • Getting treatments that go violate your religion
  • Being left on life support
  • The wrong family members making medical decisions

This article will go over:

  • what is a living will form and how it’s different than a will
  • step-by-step instructions for filling out a living will form in Georgia

So, let’s dig in.

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What Is A Living Will Form In Georgia?

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:

  • spouse
  • family members
  • other third parties

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.

Living Will Definition

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.

What Is A Living Will And Why Is It Important To Have One?

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.

How To Fill Out A Living Will Form In Georgia

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.)

1. Fill out your information.

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.

2. Choose your healthcare agent.

You will be choosing a healthcare agent to make decisions about:

  • medical procedures
  • healthcare decisions
  • medical treatments
  • end of life
  • life-sustaining procedures
  • feeding tubes and hydration
  • organ donations
  • treatment preferences
  • funeral
  • burial or cremation

Some more notes on your agent:

  • the medical care providers involved in your treatment cannot be your agent
  • a divorce or annulment will revoke healthcare agent duties from a current spouse
  • entering into a marriage will automatically revoke old agents
  • a new spouse will automatically become your new healthcare 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:

  • cannot get contacted in a reasonable amount of time
  • cannot be located with reasonable efforts
  • s unavailable or unable or unwilling to act as my health care 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.

3. Select the powers of your healthcare agent after death.

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:

  • organ donations
  • body donations
  • autopsies
  • funeral arrangements
  • disposition of your body (burials or cremations)

4. Choose your treatment preferences.

This section only gets used if:

  • you cannot communicate your treatment preferences
  • reasonable attempts have been made to communicate with you

This section gives your physician and healthcare providers your preferences.

This section also allows you to note your treatment preferences for:

  • terminal conditions
  • persistent vegetative states like comas
  • getting IV hydration and feeding tubes

You will then denote WHEN physicians should follow your treatment preferences.

The two conditions are:

  • terminal conditions
  • persistent vegetative states like comas

Ok, so let’s look at your treatment preference options.

There are three main options:

  • keep me alive as long as possible
  • allow my natural death to occur
  • do not give me medical treatment to extend my life without curing me

If you select the last option, then you need to select more options you’d like, such as:

  • give me nutrition via medical means
  • give me fluids via IV for hydration
  • give me a ventilator to assist with breathing
  • give me CPR if my heart or pulse stops

You should also fill out an “Additional Statements” section.

This section allows you to note what should happen with medical treatments like:

  • medications to fight infection
  • surgery
  • amputation
  • blood transfusion
  • kidney dialysis

Your living will form in Georgia will not get carried out if:

  • you are found to be pregnant, and;
  • the fetus is still viable

Georgia laws only allow your treatment preferences to get carried out if a fetus is unviable.

5. Choose guardianship for yourself.

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:

  • your welfare
  • your personal support
  • your safety

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.

6. Sign the Georgia living will form.

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:

  • a notary public
  • two competent witnesses of sound mind and 14+ years of age

7. Have the witnesses sign.

To make this a legal living will form in Georgia, it needs:

  • to get witnessed by two people
  • signed by those witnesses
  • signed in front of a notary
  • notarized by a notary

How To Write A Living Will In Georgia

Determine Your Preferred Medical Treatment Options

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:

  • life-sustaining treatments (chemo, medication, surgery, hydration)
  • life support decisions (feeding tubes, respirators, breathing machines, kidney dialysis)
  • end-of-life decisions (organ donation or religious rituals)
  • nursing homes and care providers

Create A Medical Power Of Attorney

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. 

Formalize Your Living Will In Georgia

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.

Storing Your Georgia Living Will Form

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:

  • with your attorney
  • in a safety deposit box
  • with family members
  • in a safe at home

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?

When Does A Living Will Form In Georgia 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:

  • able to manage their affairs
  • able to maintain their well-being

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

Living Will vs Other Legal Documents

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. 

Georgia Living Will vs Last Will And Testament

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. 

Living Will vs Georgia Advance Directive For Healthcare

There is no real difference between a living will vs advance directive. 

They both accomplish the same outcome in Georgia. 

Living Will And Power Of Attorney

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:

  • financial decisions
  • buying and selling property
  • controlling bank accounts
  • making medical decisions

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:

  • living will gives the attending physician explicit directions
  • medical POA gives someone the freedom to make decisions on your behalf

Health Care Proxy vs Living Will In Georgia

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.

FAQs For Living Will Forms In Georgia

These are the questions we get the most about our living will forms in Georgia. 

Does A Living Will Need To Be Notarized?

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.

Is It Legal To Write Your Own Living Will In Georgia?

Yes, even if you have a handwritten, DIY living will, it’s valid in Georgia.

Just make sure it’s:

  • signed in front of two witnesses
  • signed by two witnesses
  • notarized

As long as you follow the living will requirements, online wills are valid. 

What Are The Requirements For A Living Will To Be Valid?

For a living will form to be valid, it must:

  • get signed in front of two witnesses who are 14+ years old and of sound mind
  • get signed by the witness

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. 

Can A Power Of Attorney Override A 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.

Is An Advance Directive The Same Thing As A Living Will?

An advance directive for healthcare is the same thing as a living will.

Can A Living Will Be Changed By A Family Member?

You are the only person that can change your living will.

A living cannot get changed by a family member.

Can A Family Member Override A Living Will?

Paragraph #A family member cannot override your living will in Georgia.

Get A Living Will Form In Georgia

If you want a reliable, attorney-created living will and legal advice, fill out the form below.

The experienced attorneys at our law firm will create your living will, which means:

  • you can make sure your doctors abide by the laws
  • you have confidence you have the correct living will set up
  • you don’t have to hire a notary to show up to the signing
  • you don’t have to find witnesses to show up at the signing
  • you get FREE revisions for 30 days

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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