Who Is A Health Care Surrogate?

There are many different documents and designations that can be put in place to ensure your wishes are carried out in the event you are incapacitated or unable to communicate. Throughout the estate planning process, we are often asked by clients "who is a health care surrogate?" Our attorneys at the Stuart, Florida, office of Jordan Fields, P.A., can answer this and other questions.

Top Reason To Have A Health Care Surrogate

The most important reason to have a health care surrogate is control of the designation. The person you choose will be making medical decisions on your behalf. By naming a specific individual to be your health care surrogate, you retain control of this decision. As such, your wishes can be known in advance and acted upon in the event you cannot communicate your requests for medical care.

If you do not name someone to be your surrogate, a doctor or nurse at the hospital or care facility where you are being treated may name someone on your behalf. This often follows a hierarchy, such as a spouse first, then child, then other relatives. However, if you do not wish one of these people to be making decisions for you, it is important that you designate a health care surrogate in your estate planning documents.

A health care surrogate, or a surrogate decision maker, can be named within your estate planning documents. This type of designation is similar to a medical power of attorney, and can act on detailed medical care documents, such as a health care directive.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and trusted lawyers, call us at 772-600-4203 or toll free at 888-340-4073. We can also be reached using our online contact form. We offer reasonable rates and are a member of the AARP Legal Services Network.