Addressing your potential medical needs can be a difficult step when planning your estate. Those considering possible future medical needs in Georgia once had to fill out multiple different documents. The state has since streamlined this process by creating an in-depth advance directive for health care.
In order to create an advance directive, you need to be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. You also have to be of sound mind, meaning that you have testamentary capacity.
When you fill out your advance directive, you need to have two witnesses present and must witness them signing the document. Neither of those witnesses can be the health care agent that you named or someone in line to inherit property from your estate. They will assign to witness that you have filled out the form in compliance with state law, including all three of the main sections.
What three primary issues do you have to address in your advance directive?
Naming someone to serve as your medical agent
You can choose who will handle any medical issues that arise when you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions about your own care. Choosing an agent that you trust and who is reliable and responsible is a very important part of creating your advance directive. They will ultimately have a crucial role in the care that you receive in the event of an emergency.
Declaring your preferences about life support and other pair
One of the hardest decisions your loved ones might have to make after a medical emergency or car crash would be how much treatment to allow after your injury or illness. You can clearly state your preferences in writing regarding respiratory and nutritional assistance and other major medical issues that could arise during your incapacitation.
Choosing someone to serve as a guardian after incapacitation
If you will remain unable to make your medical decisions for some time because of an injury or illness, the Georgia courts could determine that you require a guardian.
Once you already lack testamentary capacity, you cannot make a statement about your preferences on this matter. However, if you name someone to serve as your guardian in your advance directive, that designation can protect you if you become reliant on someone else for support in the future.
Understanding what issues you must address and your advance directive can help you as you prepare for estate planning.