Advance Directive for Health Care

We know that many individuals struggle with expressing to loved ones their wishes about health care in the context of a terminal illness, coma or persistent vegetative state. The complications of making difficult decisions in such stressful circumstances are often compounded when family members have differing views of what treatment is appropriate.

One can mitigate these problems, however, by providing direction through an Advance Directive for Health Care. Because we believe it is so important, the law firm of Andre Kill & McCarthy, LLP is pleased to provide for your use an Advance Directive for Health Care.

Of course, one may have particular circumstances that require additional or different language in the Advance Directive for Health Care. Please feel free to contact our firm if you have any questions or need any help with these documents.

Click Links Below For Forms:

Advance Directive for Health Care

Financial Power of Attorney

It is an ancient precept of Anglo-Saxon law that one person may delegate authority to act regarding a financial matter to another person. Georgia law has sanctioned financial powers of attorney for many years, either specific to an individual transaction or general to all types of financial activity.

The Georgia legislature promulgated a format for a Financial Power of Attorney in 1995 so that there could be a uniform document that banks and others could accept with confidence. We have added Section 14 dealing with gifts which specifies that an agent could make tax-free gifts on the principal’s behalf to family members to alleviate taxes or to help with medical costs. Georgia law now says that a Power of Attorney includes the authority to make gifts and we have added that section to make the statement express to satisfy the Internal Revenue Service, to make it clear to all, and to limit the scope of the authority. This may not be necessary in every person’s situation.

We have also added various additional provisions to the legislature’s form that we thought were advisable to clarify and confirm the powers.

The document provides on page 4 under Section 15 that it can be effective upon signing or it can “spring” into effect when the agent obtains either an affidavit from the person’s attending physician, or affidavits from two other physicians that state that the person is incapacitated. You should consider whether this option is appropriate. Of course, it is simpler to have the Power be effective immediately without the need to resort to physicians.

Signing the Financial Power of Attorney

The maker of the Power of Attorney should first insert his or her initials in each one of the Sections 1 through 14 of the Financial Power of Attorney that the person wishes to include within the powers granted. Obviously, we generally recommend that a person initial each of these Sections.

If one wishes to invoke the condition the Power can “spring” into effect only when the agent obtains either an affidavit from the person’s attending physician or affidavits from two other physicians that state that the person is incapacitated, then the maker and each agent should sign where indicated on page 4. If the maker does not, then the person should leave the first sentence of Section 15 and cross out the rest of that section and initial that deletion.

The person should also then indicate what arrangement the person wishes to have for compensation of the agent on page 6. We generally recommend option 1 as any compensation paid to the agent is taxable as ordinary income.

The maker should then insert the date and sign on page 6. Two witnesses (not the agent), should witness the signature and insert their addresses. If the maker of the Power has selected to give the agent the authority listed under Sections 3 and 4 of the Financial Power of Attorney, then a notary public should also witness the document on page 6. Then the agent and any successor agent should date and sign the respective “Acceptances” on page 7 and page 8, with a notary public executing those pages as well. Unfortunately, this is an overly complex execution process, but we are following the statutory form.

Click Links Below For Forms:

Financial Power Of Attorney (Andre Kill & McCarthy, LLP format)

Financial Power Of Attorney (Statutory format)

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