One of the most difficult yet important parts of estate planning may be preparing for a worst-case scenario in which you can no longer make medical choices on your own.
Whether due to a sudden accident, progressive disease or the slow onset of age-related issues, having a plan in place long before you need it may help to prevent loved ones from struggling with making crucial health care decisions for you, perhaps without knowing what your true preferences are.
In Georgia, an Advance Directive for Health Care allows you to specify what types of medical treatments you do and do not want to receive. You may also use the ADHC to name a health care proxy and/or guardian who can make decisions on your behalf if needed.
What items does an advance directive include?
In Georgia, an Advance Directive for Health Care allows you to do three primary things:
- Give specific directions for continuing or withdrawing certain types of end-of-life treatments
- Name a health care proxy (agent) you trust to make medical choices on your behalf, if necessary
- Nominate someone to be your guardian should the court deem it necessary at a future date
Can you change an advance directive?
So long as you are still mentally and physically able, you may modify the terms of your advance directive whenever you wish. Whether you have changed your mind about potentially invasive end-of-life treatments or you need to nominate a new health care proxy or guardian, revisiting your health care directives frequently may help to avoid unnecessary confusion and grief down the road.