According to Florida Statutes any adult that is considered legally competent may choose to appoint a person or persons to make medical care choices and decisions if that adult experiences any period of incapacity. This person is called a Health Care Surrogate. Incapacity can be caused by an accident, an illness, or by the natural aging process although incapacity can happen at any age.
A person appointed as a Health Care Surrogate must make health care decisions based on what you would have wanted. Here in Florida this is considered substituted decision making – the Surrogate is substituting what they feel is right for what you would want to be decided. Your designation document will give directives to your surrogate as to what your wishes are and how you wish to be medically treated. This serves as the authority for their decisions and it is important that the designation document be prepared carefully and with as much detail as your wishes require.
You want to consider many factors when choosing your Health Care Surrogate and it is important to discuss your personal situation with a skilled attorney. In addition to a primary designation you may and should choose at least one alternate surrogate in case your primary choice cannot or will not serve in the role as Health Care Surrogate. Your designation of primary and secondary surrogate will remain in force until your passing unless your designation document specifically states an ending date for the surrogate’s authority to make medical care decisions.
To adhere to Florida law your Health Care Surrogate Designation must be in writing. This document must be executed and witnessed with particularity much like a Last Will and Testament. If there are disputes with the document or its execution, which can be alleged by medical providers, family, or other concerned parties, your document must be legally sufficient to hold up under legal scrutiny.
Consultations and reviews of your current documents are always free of charge. Appointments can be made by calling the office and same day appointments are usually available. Our attorneys are available to you and your family 24 / 7 – please call 321-631-0506.