GA Health Directive – Living Will & Healthcare Power of Attorney (Part 1)

A living will is becoming increasingly popular as an estate planning document.  GA took a step in favor of the Living Will and created a statutory device, known as the Advance Health Directive.  The Health Directive is a combination of a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney within a single document.

The Health Directive allows the grantor (you) to designate someone (a “Healthcare Agent”) who you would like to make medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated or unable to speak.   This is often your spouse or a close relative. The Health Care Directive can be used to instruct on the following decisions:

  • Give instructions on how you want your health care managed if such a situation arises.
  • Indicate your treatment preferences in the event you develop a terminal condition or become permanently unconscious and are unable to communicate.
  • Indicate whether you want life prolonging procedures, like artificial respirators or feeding tubes, to be used to extend your life as long as possible.
  • Indicate that you want these life prolonging medicines, machines, or other measure to be withheld.
  • Select someone to be appointed your guardian. (A guardian may be appointed by a court to take care of your health and safety if you become incapacitated and unable to take care of yourself.)

Without this document, the persons you would prefer to make these decisions may not be allowed to do so, and your wishes may never be known or honored.

Jason M. Gordon


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