Do I Need to Have My Georgia Living Will Witnessed or Notarized?

In Georgia, you and two witnesses must sign your health care directive.

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In Georgia, your living will and medical power of attorney are combined into one form called an advance directive for health care. You can use your advance directive to document your health care wishes and to name a trusted person to make health care decisions for you when you cannot make those decisions for yourself.

Sign Your Georgia Advance Directive in Front of Two Witnesses

After you create your advance directive, you and two witnesses it must sign it. You do not have to have the document notarized.

Neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • your health care agent
  • a person who is directly involved in your health care, or
  • a person who will knowingly inherit anything from you or knowingly gain a financial benefit from your death.

In addition, only one of your witnesses may be an employee, agent or medical staff member of the hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice or other health care facility in which you are receiving health care. (This witness is still prohibited from being directly involved in your health care.)

What to Do After You Sign Your Advance Directive

After you and your witnesses sign the advance directive, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. So, you might also consider giving copies of your advance directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.

Review your document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your health care agent is no longer able to supervise your wishes.

Your properly finalized document will stay in effect until you revoke it, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your document at any time. The best way to revoke your advance directive is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your advance directive that you have revoked it.

Learn More

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Georgia Advance Directives for Health Care.

When you make an advance directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Georgia’s laws for advance directives and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal. 

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