Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Although few people like to think about the possibility of being too sick to take care of their own affairs, we all want people we trust to be there for us if we can no longer make these important decisions. If you become too ill to make informed choices regarding your health, a written Designation of Health Care Surrogate can ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment are upheld.
At the law firm of Gregory H. Zogran, you do not have to face these issues alone. With over 25 years’ experience helping Florida residents plan for the future, I can help you understand your options and make sound choices for yourself and your family.
Helping You Make Important Health Care Decisions
The best time to make important decisions about your medical care is when you are healthy. If you wait until you are sick, you may lack the mental competency to make well-reasoned choices regarding your care and the people entrusted to look after your interests. At worst, preparing legal documents during a serious illness can lead to litigation, as your family members may disagree about the legitimacy of the documents you signed.
With proper planning, you can avoid disputes regarding your wishes. More importantly, you can appoint trusted individuals to make medical decisions on your behalf. The Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate, sometimes referred to as a “health care power of attorney”, is a legal document that allows you to name individuals, called agents, to handle your health care decisions if you cannot. You can even name an alternate surrogate to take over in the event the first person passes away or cannot serve. Because Florida’s health care privacy laws prevent family members and even spouses from accessing your medical records and information, it is also important to include a HIPAA release in your estate plan, as this will ensure the people you designate as surrogates are thoroughly informed of your condition and treatment recommendations.
Unlike a Florida Designation of Heath Care Surrogate, a living will is limited to health care decisions regarding a final illness. In Florida, living wills are a type of advance directive that sets forth your instructions regarding your treatment if there is no chance for your recovery due to a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state. If you have strong feelings about dying without specific types of medical intervention, you should include a living will in your estate plan.
Although a living will and a Designation of Health Care Surrogate overlap to some degree, they are very different documents. Whereas a living will permits your agent to make decisions regarding end of life medical treatment, it does not offer the comprehensive scope of a Designation of Health Care Surrogate. To fully protect your interests and ensure your wishes are honored, your estate plan should include a living will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and HIPAA release.
Compassionate Counsel. Sound Advice.
To speak to me directly about your health care concerns and future planning, call my office at 772-220-9699 to discuss your case.