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What documents can an advance directive replace?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Estate Planning

Many residents in Georgia want their estate plan to protect them as they age in addition to addressing their property after they die. Including the right documents in your estate plan will give you the most protection possible regardless of what you experienced in life. 

Georgia has changed some of its rules for estate plans in recent decades, including making changes to the preferred documents used in the event of medical incapacitation. Your Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care will actually replace two documents that people used to create. Updating your estate plan to include an advance directive can be a smart planning choice. 

What an advance directive does

When you draft an advance directive, you provide highly-specific instructions about your personal medical preferences and name someone to serve as your agent when you cannot make medical choices for yourself. 

You can choose the facility where you receive care or the doctor who oversees your treatment, as well as providing guidance on the kind of care you receive. You can use an advance directive to explain your preferences regarding life support, pain management and other deeply personal medical matters. 

Previously, people in Georgia may have drafted a living will talking about their various medical preferences. They would then name a health care agent in a separate power of attorney. The new Advance Directive can accomplish both feats with one document. 

Even if you previously drafted a living will and medical power of attorney, your documents will be less vulnerable to challenges in probate court if you update them to the current standard. Those older documents remain valid, but updating them can only help protect you more thoroughly. 

Creating a thorough estate plan that includes an advance directive helps protect those planning for an unpredictable future.