March 15, 2018 | Fundamentals
Despite its clunky name, an Advance Directive for Health Care has a simple purpose: to appoint someone to act for you with respect to your medical care. In some states this document is called a “Living Will.” It is a crucial document to have. If you are incapacitated, for example, you are in a coma, and cannot express your own choices about your care, an agent named in your Advance Directive can step in to make choices for you. For most people, this will be necessary towards the end of their life as their health declines. However, at any age it is possible that you might need to have someone make health care decisions for you if you are in an accident or become unexpectedly ill. Accordingly, everyone should have an Advance Directive that names an agent that you trust to act for you.
In addition to naming an agent, the Advance Directive in Georgia also allows you to express your preferences about your health care and the disposition of your body after your death. There are numerous issues that you can address including whether you prefer burial or cremation, would allow your organs to be donated, and whether you wish to be left on life supporting devices indefinitely. By providing your agent with guidance through the Advance Directive, you can ensure that your agent will understand your wishes even when you cannot express them because of your health or incapacity.
Please contact one of our attorneys if you would like to discuss your Advance Directive or other parts of your estate plan.