Advance Directive for Healthcare

An Advance Directive for Healthcare is a written document authorizing someone you name (an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to make healthcare-related decisions for you in the event you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.  It places medical decisions in the hands of a person you name to act as your agent.  It also includes authorization for autopsy, organ/body donation and choice for disposition of remains.  It applies to all medical decisions unless specifically limited.

The document also contains a Living Will section.  This is a written directive instructing a physician or health care facility to withhold or withdraw “life-sustaining” procedures in the event you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, coma or persistent vegetative state.  The definitions of terminal illness, coma and persistent vegetative state are specific, and the Living Will becomes effective only when there is no hope of recovery and you are unable to make decisions for yourself.  The opinion of two physicians is required to effectuate these provisions.

In Georgia, Advance Directives for Healthcare are recognized by statute and should be written to substantially conform to the statutory guidelines.


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In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this article is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.  The information contained herein is provided “as is” for general guidance on matters of interest only.  Hoffman & Associates, Attorneys-at-Law, LLC is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services.  Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a competent professional advisor.