Health Care Advance Directives in Your Florida Estate Plan

A catastrophic accident or illness can happen when you least expect it, taking away your ability to make your own decisions about your medical and health care treatment. If that were to happen to you, would you be prepared?

As part of your well-rounded estate plan, a Designation of Health Care Surrogate allows you to appoint another person (or persons) to make all health care decisions for you, should you become so disabled you cannot communicate or make those decisions yourself.

The Health Care Surrogate Form

The Health Care Surrogate is a witnessed document in which you name your representative, who is authorized to make medical decisions for you, should you not be able to do so yourself. A Health Care Surrogate may be used alone or in conjunction with a Living Will and a HIPAA Release.

The person that you designate would have the authority to confer with your doctors and make medical treatment decisions for you at any time during any period of incapacity. This person can be your spouse, an adult child or other family member, a friend, or anyone you thoroughly trust. You may also designate an alternate surrogate, in the event the original surrogate is unable to perform his or her duties.

Florida Health Care Surrogate – Practice Your Right to Decide

In Florida, you are not required to have a Health Care Surrogate or other advance directives. If you do not have a Health Care Surrogate, then Florida law controls who will be able to make these decisions for you.

This is a critical document that everyone should have. In emergency situations, this tool will serve to eliminate delays in your treatment, confusion and debate about what to do, and anxiety on the part of the decision-maker.

This is especially true if you are in a situation where there might be tension or feuding in the family about who is going to make those decisions for you. People might have different opinions of what decisions should be made. Your family, spouse or other relatives may not be the people you wish to act on your behalf during a critical time.

For More Information

Please contact Attorney Kathleen Flammia if you would like to discuss Health Care Surrogate designation, and other Florida health care advance directives that are available to you.