Drafting a Healthcare Surrogate in Fort Myers
The occurrence of a severe injury or illness can happen to anyone at any time. If this occurs, it is important to have an effective health care surrogate to provide crucial assistance to your family and loved ones in dealing with this life-altering event. A health care surrogate designates an individual to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. This individual will be able to make any and all health care decisions on your behalf which you would be able to make for yourself including applying for public benefits.
Under Florida Law, the surrogate may only make decisions for the principal which he or she believes the principal would have made under the circumstances. If there is no indication as to what the principal would have chosen, the surrogate may consider the patient's best interests in making decisions.
Appointing an Alternate Surrogate
According to Florida Statute, an individual may also appoint a backup or alternate surrogate to act in case your primary designation is unwilling or unable to do so. The designation of a surrogate and alternate surrogate can be revoked and modified at any time while you are living and have the capacity to make your own decisions.
The designation of a health care surrogate will become effective upon the examination and determination by an individual's attending physician that a person is incapacitated and unable to make their own health care decisions. This determination must be conferred by another physician before becoming effective. The surrogate will be valid until or if the principal should regain capacity.
Finally, unless designated otherwise, a health care surrogate cannot provide consent for abortion, sterilization, electroshock therapy, psychosurgery, experimental treatments, or a voluntary admission to a mental health facility.
When should you appoint a healthcare surrogate?
Appointing a health care surrogate is an important step to be taken by every individual. In the absence of a properly executed health care surrogate, Florida Statute generally designates individuals in order of priority who would be permitted to make health care decisions for you.
As such, it is exceptionally important for an individual to consider a health care decision if they are:
- Newly married
- Living with a significant other outside of marriage
- Divorced or contemplating divorce
Legal Guidance from Our Fort Myers Estate Planning Lawyer
A life-changing event can occur at any time. If one should occur, it is important to make sure that you designate a trusted individual to make health care decisions for you if you are unable. Don't leave that decision to the generalized rules of Florida Statute. Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney to customize a health care surrogate that meets your needs.
Additionally, if you have recently moved to Florida and have a health care surrogate executed in another state, we can review it to make sure it's effective under Florida Law at no cost to you. We can make it quick and easy to provide that necessary protection for your family and loved ones. Don't wait until it's too late.
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