Planning for your health care as you age is a crucial part of estate planning that should not be left to chance. I highly recommend that you plan ahead, so that you can be cared for in the manner that you want. This includes creating Advance Directives such as a Living Will, Health Care Surrogate, and/or Anatomical Donation documents. You should always consult with your attorney about the details.
A Health Care Surrogate is an adult person who makes health care decisions for a person like you when that person is unable to make decisions for themselves.
In Florida, you can choose a Health Care Surrogate in advance of incapacitation, or your doctor can choose one for you when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
Your doctor can not be your Health Care Surrogate. If you have not chosen a person to be your health care surrogate, then one would need to be appointed for you.
Here’s the list of people your doctor will first consider as candidates for health care surrogacy:
. . . and probably in that order.
It is very difficult to make health care decisions for another person, so that person needs to be quite mature. They have to do their best to make decisions according to their understanding of your wishes.
A Living Will is a written or oral statement explaining the kind of medical care you want or do not want, if you become unable to make your own decisions. It’s called a living will because it takes effect while you are still alive. Speak to your attorney to be sure you have completed the living will in a way that makes your wishes understood clearly.