An Advanced Care Directive (ACD), also known as a Living Will, is a legal document in which a person gives specific instructions about the healthcare they would like to receive when they are no longer able to express their wishes due to illness or incapacity.
Having an ACD gives you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out when you’re unable to speak for yourself. It will let your doctor and family know what procedures or treatments you would like to forego or have carried out. The result is that there is no confusion as to what kind of care you would like to have and family members are spared the pain of making these choices for you.
Before you get ready to complete a Living Will, you should consider what treatment options you are comfortable with. You may also want to talk with your family and explain to them the choices you’ve made and why you’ve made them.
Your Living Will will discuss your wishes on organ donation, final disposition of your body, and what types of extraordinary measures you would like made on your behalf – do you want a ventilator used? A feeding tube? Should CPR be used to resuscitate you?
Georgia’s ACD form also allows you to name a Health Care Agent to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so and to nominate a guardian in case one is needed.
Please know that ACDs do not provide direction as to what to do after a person has passed. These wishes should be memorialized in a Last Will and Testament. This is why advanced care directives are also known as Living Wills – they are only in force during your lifetime.
After your ACD is signed and witnessed, make sure to keep a copy in a safe place. Also, it is a good idea to give a copy to your family members, health care provider, and health care agent.
If you make any changes to your ACD, make sure to fill out a new form and have it witnessed again. For more information on our Estate Planning Services, contact our firm today.