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This article is going to cover everything you need to know about a living will in Georgia.
We’re covering things about Georgia living wills like:
So, let’s dig in.
A Georgia living will is also called an advance directive.
Georgia’s living will 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 wills 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 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 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 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.
Don’t leave life or death medical decisions in the hands of the wrong person.
Fill out the form below to get your living will today.
Don’t leave life or death medical decisions in the hands of the wrong person. Fill out the form below to get your living will today.
So, how much does a living will in Georgia cost?
The cost of a living will is not as high as a normal will.
Normal wills cost more because they are more complex.
You are planning how to distribute your estate to accomplish numerous goals.
Living wills in Georgia are only providing direction for medical treatments.
The cost of a living will ranges from $750 – $1,250.
How much does a living will cost depends on several things, like:
You can get a living will three different ways:
If you make a living will by yourself, it’ll cost about $200 to get one.
Sometimes, you can find a free Georgia living will.
At least have it reviewed by an estate planning attorney to make sure it’s correct.
Otherwise, your loved ones won’t get the inheritance you want them to.
And they won’t have any authority to make decisions on your behalf.
If you have an attorney review your living will, then you’ll spend about $350-$500.
If you have an attorney create your living will, then you’ll spend about $1,250.
Let’s go over how to make a living will in Georgia.
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 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.
What’s the difference between a living will and trust?
They give direction on different aspects of your life.
A living trust covers three phases of your life.
These phases are while you’re:
A living trust will hold your property in the name of the trust.
And you can manage the property by naming yourself the Trustee.
You can also name beneficiaries to take over the trust when you pass away.
All that a living will does is give guidance on the medical attention you want.
Related: Disadvantages Of A Trust
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.
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This website is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Consult an attorney if you are seeking legal advice.