In part 1 of this 2-part series, we will explore the basics of a living will. We strongly recommend you seek the advice of an attorney that specializes in living wills and other advance directives. Requirements can vary by state and it is best to seek an attorney that can help you prepare your living will properly.


living will is a legal document that specifies how we want to be medically treated when we are dying or injured to the point where we cannot make decisions for ourselves. States have different names for documents of this nature, but generally refer to them as advance directives. A living will should not be confused with a living trust, which is used for holding and distributing a person’s assets for privacy and to avoid probate. Georgia’s first living will law was passed in 1984.


Living wills and other advance directives are written, legal instructions regarding your medical care preference if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Whether you are terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma/vegetative state, in the late stages of dementia, or near the end of your life, advance directives help doctors and caregivers make medical decisions on your behalf. By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. You also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we further explore a living will and other advance directives. For more information regarding a living will and advice regarding your specific situation, contact Gerstenberger Law at (770) 920-7722.


The information found on the Gerstenberger Law site is for educational purposes only. Your situation and the situation of others are unique and more complex. This is neither legal advice nor to be considered legal advice. Contact us for advice about your specific situation.



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