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Advanced Directive for Health Care

Legal & Financial Planning

In 2007 Georgia adopted a new “Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care”.

The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care is a legal document in which you name another person as your agent to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself.  In this document you can describe treatment you want and do not want. You may choose to consult with an attorney who will execute an individualized Advance Directive for Health Care. 

The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care now includes the directives formally designated as a “living will”. You can provide direction related to your wishes should you have a terminal condition.  You can specify your preferences related to food and hydration should your have a terminal or irreversible condition.

A copy of the “Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care” is available here.


Advanced Financial Planning

People who are having memory & thinking problems need to develop a plan for management of their finances.  It is important for you to have someone who is knowledgeable about your financial situation.  You will also want to execute a durable power of attorney for finances.  This person will be empowered to manage your finances when you are no longer able.  An attorney can be helpful in drawing up your durable financial power of attorney.

The Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center has seen many people with early memory problems who have been the victims of scams, made bad investment decisions or have forgotten to pay bills which resulted in insurance policies being cancelled and utilities being turned off.  All of these people were very intelligent, competent people who would never have made these decisions or mistakes before the onset of memory problems.  Therefore we strongly encourage people with early memory loss execute a financial power of attorney.

Last Will and Testament

This is a legal document that states how your estate will be distributed after you die.  Many people have executed this document.  It is a good idea to review your last will and testament every five – ten years.

Elder Law Attorneys

Elder law has become a practice specialty as our population ages.  Elder lawyers are attorneys who have developed expertise in areas of the law important to older people.  Typically they have expertise is areas such as estate and disability planning, trusts, advanced directives for health care, durable power of attorney for finances, living wills, guardianship, financing long term care, Medicare, Medicaid and SSI.   Within the practice of elder law there is even further specialization.  Some elder lawyers specialize in long term care financing, while others do not.  Your local bar association may be able to provide additional resources. 

To begin the process of finding an elder law attorney visit the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.