Living Will Attorney Helping Clients in Forsyth County, GA Prepare for the Future
A living will in the state of Georgia is also known as an advance directive and is different from a last will and testament. In a living will, the individual states how they wish various decisions to be handled should they become incapacitated. These decisions include medical care, especially at the end of life, and when to withhold medical treatment. A living will is an essential part of your estate plan because if you do not offer instructions on how to handle these weighty matters, your loved ones may suffer unnecessarily from having to make these decisions without knowing what your wishes are. Unfortunately, this can cause disputes within the family that could have been avoided.
When you come to Bascom Law, P.C. for help with your living will, you will speak to our compassionate and caring legal team about your interests, goals, and wishes for your family’s future. We find that most of the time, estate planning is less about money and more about preserving family relationships. We care about what you have to say and will listen carefully in order to create the best estate plan for you, including a living will. Please get in touch with us today at 770-285-5493 to sit down and go over the process with us in an initial consultation.
How is a Living Will Different from a Last Will and Testament?
A living will is quite different from a last will and testament, and many individuals will benefit from having both documents as part of their estate plan. A will deals with how vital matters should be handled after the person dies, but a living will offers instructions to be fulfilled while the individual is alive but incapable of making their own decisions. The following lists outline the differences between the two legally binding documents:
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament instructs how to handle the following matters:
- Distribution of estate
- Naming the executor of the estate
- What beneficiaries receive which assets
- Burial or cremation preferences
- Who will be the guardian of any minors in the family
Living Will or Advance Directive
In Georgia, a living will is also known as an advance directive and covers the following important items:
- Which medical procedures the individual wishes to receive
- Any medical procedures they do not wish to receive, such as attempted resuscitation after they die
- Instructions regarding organ donation
- Guardianship, if applicable
If you are unsure whether you need a will, a living will, or both in your estate plan, please consult with our knowledgeable estate planning lawyer immediately. It is never too early or too late to develop the right estate plan for you, so call us today!
Do I Need a Living Will?
Many people benefit from having a living will in place, as it gives the peace of mind that should something happen that their wishes regarding their medical treatment will be followed. If you do not have a living will, doctors will proceed with their protocol without considering your wishes. Whether or not such a situation is ever needed, having a living will is a relatively simple process that can give you confidence about your future and prevent a great deal of confusion should you ever need it.
We recommend that many of our clients in the North Atlanta area have an advanced directive. If you need help deciding whether this course is right for you, we are happy to sit down and discuss your options. We understand that every family is unique and that what is suitable for one person will not apply to everyone. For this reason, we simply can’t give legal advice online. Call us today to schedule an appointment where we can discuss your wishes and goals and see if having a living will make sense in your situation.
Can a Living Will Be Changed?
Similar to a last will and testament, a living will or advance directive can be changed or revoked at any time in the state of Georgia. This gives many people great peace of mind as they know that if their wishes ever change in regard to their medical and other important decisions, they can revise their living will accordingly. However, it is important to remember that just as wills have strict requirements in order to be valid in Georgia, living wills must also be appropriately documented according to the law.
This also applies to making any changes to your living will. When revising your advance directive, the new document must take place under the right conditions, such as having the appropriate number of valid witnesses in place at the time of making the changes. To ensure that your living will is legally valid, please reach out to a trusted estate planning attorney like lawyer Mike Bascom. We can review your document and make sure everything is in order so there are no surprises later on.
Can Our Living Will Lawyer Help You?
When you go through the estate planning process, it is critical to have a professional on your side to guide you and make sure all of your documents are legally valid. An estate attorney like Mike Bascom can also get to know you and your family so we can craft the perfect estate plan for you. Having a living will is an essential part of most people’s estate plans, as they can be sure that they receive the right kind of medical treatment if they are ever unable to make decisions for themselves. Without a living will, you are at the mercy of the doctor’s protocol, which might not align with the desired medical treatment you had in mind.
Please get in touch with us right away at 770-285-5493 to begin creating the advance directive you need for your peace of mind.