Advance Healthcare Planning
Georgia Advance Directive 
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Georgia Advance Directive 

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical Power of Attorney, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive. 

An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Georgia.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive
  2. Who can be your witnesses in the Georgia Advance Directive?
  3. Who can be your Proxy in the Georgia Advance Directive?
  4. Notarization required for Georgia Advance Directive?
  5. When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Georgia?
  6. How can an Advance Directive be revoked?
  7. How to amend or change an Advance Directive?
  8. Georgia rules for changing Marital status after making your Advance Directive
  9. Georgia rules for pregnancy after making your Advance Directive
  10. Georgia rules for guardianship after making your Advance Directive
  11. Parts of the Georgia Advance Directive Form

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor/declarant (i.e. the maker of an Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: No
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: No
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 1 
  • Other names for a Living Will: Advance Directive for Healthcare
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney: Advance Directive for Healthcare
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues: No

Who can be your witnesses in the Georgia Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Georgia if

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, &
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Your witnesses cannot be: 

  • a person related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage,
  • a  person entitled to a share in the estate on your death,

Note: One of your witnesses can be:

  • Your healthcare proxy/agent,
  • your supervising health care provider/ his employer,
  • the operator or an employee of a healthcare facility where you’re receiving care.

Note: But then this witness cannot be directly involved in your health care.

Who can be your Proxy in the Georgia Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Georgia if

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, &
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Who cannot be your Proxy/Agent:

  • your supervising health care provider, &
  •  your physician.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.

Notarization required for Georgia Advance Directive?

Nor do you need to notarize your Advance Directive neither Georgia requires you to submit your form to the Registry because it doesn’t maintain any Advance Directive Registry. 

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Georgia?

In Georgia, an Advance Directive doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

Note: Your Georgia Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency unless you are declared incapacitated to understand and communicate your wishes and consent by your doctor.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Georgia Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation or directing any other person to write on your behalf,
  • An oral revocation in presence of a witness &
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way.
  • Executing a new Advance Directive.

Note: The witness must give a written confirmation within 30 days if the grantor revokes his Advance Directive orally. The doctor directly supervising the treatment of the grantor must be communicated about the revocation in all cases.

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Georgia but once it was witnessed & signed you have to resubmit a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Georgia rules for changing Marital status after making your Advance Directive 

If an Advance Directive was completed before marriage and your spouse was not named as an agent, the marriage will automatically result in the revocation of the healthcare agent's power. 

Whereas divorce from the spouse will not make any effect on the validity of the Georgia Advance Directive unless the spouse was named as an agent, the divorce or annulment of marriage will revoke the healthcare agent's power with immediate effect.

If you would prefer that no effect should be there on the Advance Directive after marriage or on divorce, you may add it as a Special Instruction in section 8 in Part 2 of your advance directive for health care. 

Georgia rules for pregnancy after making your Advance Directive

If a woman would prefer to withdraw/withhold life-sustaining treatment, nourishment/hydration even when she is pregnant, she can instruct it in Section 9 of Part 2 of the Advance directive for health care form. 

But Georgia state laws mention that a pregnant patient’s preferences in the Advance Directive will not be honored if it is possible that the fetus is viable and could develop to the point of live birth with continued application of life-sustaining treatment.

Georgia rules for guardianship after making your Advance Directive

In the Georgia Advance Directive you not only appoint an agent to take care of your treatment & care but also nominate a guardian to be appointed by the court under Part 3 of the form. Unless the guardian is restricted by the court to make any decision on which your agent has the power to decide regarding the medical treatment/care.

Parts of the Georgia Advance Directive Form

Part 1: Appointment of Healthcare Agent

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow.

On the left side, you will find a gray box that contains all the instructions that will help you in the application process. 

Georgia Advance Directive Sample Form

PART 1: HEALTHCARE AGENT


I select the following person as my health care agent to make healthcare decisions for me: 


Name: Address: Telephone Numbers: (Home, Work, and Mobile) 


(2) BACK-UP HEALTH CARE AGENT [This section is optional. PART ONE will be effective even if this section is left blank.] 


If my health care agent cannot be contacted in a reasonable time period and cannot be located with reasonable efforts or for any reason my health care agent is unavailable or unable or unwilling to act as my health care agent, then I select the following, each to act successively in the order named, as my back-up health care agent(s):

(Name of individual you choose as first alternate agent)


…..


Part 2: Treatment Preferences

Georgia Advance Directive Sample Form

PART 2: TREATMENT PREFERENCES 


PART TWO will be effective if I am in any of the following conditions: 

[Initial each condition in which you want PART TWO to be effective.] 

[       ] (Initials) A terminal condition, which means I have an incurable or irreversible condition that will result in my death in a relatively short period of time. 

[       ] (Initials) A state of permanent unconsciousness, which means I am in an incurable or irreversible condition in which I am not aware of myself or my environment and I show no behavioral response to my environment. 


My condition will be certified in writing after personal examination by my attending physician and a second physician in accordance with currently accepted medical standards

…..


Part 2, Section 9: Pregnancy

Georgia Advance Directive Sample Form

PART 2 SECTION 9 : PREGNANCY


IN CASE OF PREGNANCY 

[PART TWO will be effective even if this section is left blank.] 


I understand that under Georgia law, PART TWO generally will have no force and effect if I am pregnant unless the fetus is not viable and I indicate by initialing below that I want PART TWO to be carried out. 

[      ] (Initials) I want PART TWO to be carried out if my fetus is not viable. 



…..

 

Part 3: Appointment of a Guardian

Georgia Advance Directive Sample Form

PART 3: GUARDIANSHIP 


State your preference by initialing (A) or (B). 

Choose (A) only if you have also completed PART ONE.] 


[    ] (A) (Initials) I nominate the person serving as my health care agent under PART ONE to serve as my guardian. OR 

[    ] (B) (Initials) I nominate the following person to serve as my guardian: 


Name: Address: Telephone Numbers: (Home, Work, and Mobile)


…..

Part 4: Execution

You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required.

Georgia Advance Directive Sample Form

PART 4 : EXECUTION


The declarant signed this form in my presence or acknowledged signing this form to me. Based upon my personal observation, the declarant appeared to be emotionally and mentally capable of making this advance directive for health care and signed this form willingly and voluntarily. 


(Signature of witness) (Date) 

Print Name: Address: 


(Signature of witness) (Date) 

Print Name: Address: 


[This form does not need to be notarized.]

…..

Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes

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Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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What is the difference between advance care planning and an advance directive?
The Advance Directive is a formalized version of your Advance Care Plan. An Advance Directive is a document through which you plan your healthcare and your preferences for your future care.
Does an Advance Healthcare Directive need to be notarized in Georgia?
The Advance Directive form does not need to be notarized but itis required to be signed by two (2) witnesses in Georgia.
Is the Georgia advance directive for health care the same as a living will?
The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care is a single document with the best features of the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. An effort has also been made to make the execution (signing and witnessing) of this document easier and more convenient. So, yes the Living Will is the same as Advance Directive in Georgia.
Who should initiate advance care planning?
It is often recommended that the patient's general practitioner (GP) should be the initiator of Advance Care Planning. Continuity of care in general practice creates an opportunity for a longstanding doctor-patient relationship
How do I get a medical power of attorney in Georgia?
It's the same as making an Advance Directive because in Georgia both Living Will and Durable power of attorney are included in a single written document.
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