Congratulations! You have completed your advance directive! Now what?
It is important to now share your advance directive with some important people. You will want to make sure that each of the following has a copy of the advance directive:
- Each healthcare agent listed;
- Your primary care physician;
- Any specialists that you see regularly (i.e., cardiologist, therapist, oncologist, etc.); and
- Close family and friends.
If you are part of a large healthcare system like WellStar or Emory, providing this document once to be uploaded in their system should then allow all providers in that system with access to it.
Copies of the advance directive are just as acceptable as the original. So, your agents can use their copies if needed. The original, however, should be stored somewhere that is accessible and known about by your agents.
You may want to keep a copy of your advance directive in your purse, on your refrigerator, and/or in your car’s glovebox. We currently do not have a state or national database/clearinghouse where all advance directives are stored and accessed by medical professionals.
In addition to sharing your document with your agents, doctors and family members, it is also important to tell them about your treatment preferences and wishes. Our blog from January 16 offers some great tips on how you can start the conversations with your family members. I cannot stress how important it is to talk to your loved ones about your advance directives. Completing and properly executing the form is really important, but you must also talk to your appointed agents and legal next of kin about your wishes. You cannot rely solely on the written document to effectively communicate with your loved ones.
We are passionate about all Georgians completing an advance directive for healthcare. If you have any questions or concerns about the Georgia Advance Directive, please contact our office through our website or by calling us at (404) 843-0121.