Choosing your Healthcare Surrogate in Florida is one of the most important decisions you can make in estate an incapacity planning. Your health surrogate is the person who will make your healthcare decisions and generally advocate for you as you age or experience a disease process. While we typically associate your surrogate with helping with end-of-life issues associated with your living will, the surrogate’s duties are broader than this. The surrogate may need to help you move to assisted living or nursing home, may need to help arrange home care, may need to attend doctor's appointments and much, much more.  

Choosing a surrogate may not be as easy as you think.  To help you make the right decisions, you should review the following list of questions to as part of the decision tree.  Ask yourself, does your nominated HCS have the following attributes:

1.        Would be willing to speak on your behalf?

2.        Would be able to act on your wishes and separate his/her own feelings from yours?

3.        Lives close by or could travel to be at your side if needed?

4.        Knows you well and understands what’s important to you?

5.        Is someone you trust with your life?

6.        Will talk with you now about sensitive issues and will listen to your wishes?

7.        Will likely be available long into the future?

8.        Would be able to handle conflicting opinions between family members, friends, and medical staff?

            9.      Can be a strong advocate in the face of an unresponsive doctor or institution personnel.

In choosing the best surrogate, you should name alternate surrogates as well.  This way, if one surrogate is not able to serve, or is not reasonably available, the other surrogate can serve.

As part of our estate planning we will review all of your options, making sure your wishes are followed during your lifetime and upon your death. 

D. Rep DeLoach III
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Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney