Did you know you have the power to plan and control your healthcare despite any medical problems, including incapacity, life may send your way? Planning your future healthcare involves making decisions about your wishes in the event of incapacitation and putting them in writing.
The state of Georgia offers advance medical directives to facilitate your choices and ensure your preferences are respected. Adding them to your estate plan can help your family members understand your wishes and avoid interfering.
What are your options?
Until recently, most residents opted for a living will, a durable healthcare power of attorney or both to protect their medical choices. But in 2007, Georgia law essentially merged these two options into one document called the Advance Directive for Health Care (ADHC).
It allows you to specify your wishes for life-prolonging treatments and appoint a healthcare agent to make your medical decisions if you cannot. Another unexpected benefit is it can relieve your loved ones of making heart-wrenching decisions at a challenging time.
Are the other documents now invalid?
They are probably still valid. Although you are strongly encouraged to replace your living will and power of attorney with an ADHD, your current documents are still recognized in the state.
At the same time, it never hurts to learn how well you are protected. A legal perspective can help you address gaps or weaknesses in your healthcare directives and other estate planning components.
Taking the initiative to address your future healthcare can feel intimidating, but you may be surprised at the peace of mind it could bring you and your family.