If you become incapacitated because of a stroke or as the result of injuries from a serious accident, how do you communicate with medical personnel?
Perhaps you have a living will or durable power of attorney (POA) for healthcare, but are they valid in Georgia? The laws about advance directives in this state have changed.
Changes in the Code
As of June 30, 2007, the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care Act went into effect. This replaced the Georgia Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare in Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia.
There are four parts to the advance directive for healthcare:
– Part 1: You can name an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so
– Part 2: You can state your treatment preferences if your condition is terminal, or you are in a confirmed state of permanent unconsciousness
– Part 3: You can nominate a guardian if the court finds that you cannot make responsible decisions for yourself
– Part 4: You sign the advance directive, and two witnesses also sign
A word about existing documents
Although the living will and POA for healthcare are no longer options in the state of Georgia, they are normally still effective until revoked if executed prior to June 30, 2007. However, if you have one of these documents and are at all concerned, an attorney can review it and tell you whether it is valid. On the other hand, you may wish to explore the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care as a replacement.