ASK HEIDI: What is a Healthcare Surrogate?

thumps-up-docShort Answer:   A health care surrogate is an adult who is appointed to make healthcare decisions for you when you become unable to make them for yourself.

Why it’s Important: You are ensuring that your healthcare decisions are in the hands of someone you trust. In the event you reach the point that you are not able to handle your own medical decisions because of injury, illness or your advanced age, having the appropriate legal paperwork in place are essential parts of your lifeline. If you don’t want to write down your wishes in regards to your medical care, you want to at a minimum ensure you have someone named to oversee your medical care. When naming your Healthcare Surrogate, you can name any person you trust, most people choose a spouse, parent, adult child or close friend to handle the job. This adult does not need to be a family member but someone you trust, who is willing to take on the responsibility and will follow your wishes. Florida law declares that the person you name as your surrogate cannot witness the document. If you have not named a Healthcare Surrogate, you should schedule an appointment with an estate attorney in the state in which you reside, who can guide you through the process and make other suggestions regarding preparing for the future of you and your family.

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