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While it is true that medical needs and the likelihood of incapacity tends to increase as you age, an unexpected event or significant illness can strike anyone at any time. A Florida health care surrogate attorney can help you choose someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Whether you need someone to walk you through the entire estate planning process or just need help creating legal health care surrogate forms in Florida, Centonzio Law is the right law firm for you.

We provide all types of services to clients throughout Florida. Call us today at (913) 706-9340 or use our online contact form to reach out.

How a Lawyer Can Benefit This Process

The Florida health care surrogate process can be complicated. There are specific Florida statutes that must be complied with under Part II of Chapter 709. When you work with an attorney who knows the law, you have the upper hand in getting everything right the first time. It will save you time, money, and potential confusion and headaches down the road.

Examining Forms and Explaining Legal Documents

One of the most important things your lawyer can do is examine health care surrogate forms and explain them to you. An attorney will ensure the correct forms are completed and that your wishes are best represented. You have a right to choose who you name as your representative and which medical decisions they can make on your behalf.

Helping You Select a Health Care Surrogate

Your lawyer can help you select a trustworthy person to serve as your health care surrogate. Our experienced health care surrogate lawyers will work to identify the right person to serve as your health care surrogate and take the time to explain what is expected of them.

We can sit down with your prospects and help them understand the requirements of this type of duty. We can also offer suggestions if you are unable to choose your own. We know the decision can be difficult because of family dynamics and other considerations. However, by making this tough decision now, you can save your loved ones from fighting and stress in the long run.

Documentation Needed to Obtain a Health Care Surrogate

Like other legal actions, the designation of a health care surrogate requires legal documentation. The health care surrogate designation does not have to be filed with the court, but it must meet strict legal requirements.

Designation of Health Care Surrogate Forms

There is not one specific form that must be used for a health care surrogate designation. However, there is a suggested form of a Health Care Surrogate published in accordance with Florida Statutes Section 765.203. This form is published by The Florida Bar and the Florida Medical Association, so it is considered one of the best standard forms to use when designating a health care surrogate.

Document Requirements Under Florida Law

The health care surrogate form or legal document that you complete must have the following components:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact information of your primary health care surrogate
  • The name and contact information of your alternate surrogate (if any)
  • Your signature
  • The signatures of two witnesses

At least one of the witnesses who signs your form must not be your spouse or blood relative.

How Does Florida Law Define a Health Care Surrogate?

A health care surrogate allows you (the principal) to name a third party (an agent) to act on your behalf and make informed decisions regarding your health care if you become incapacitated. A health care surrogate may also obtain protected health information about you if specifically allowed. This allows the health care surrogate to provide informed consent on your behalf, which is required in many medical situations.

What Do They Have the Power to Do?

A health care surrogate can begin making medical decisions immediately or upon incapacity. If you can make and communicate decisions about your health care, then those decisions will be followed, and your health care surrogate cannot override them. However, once you are unable to make or communicate medical decisions on your own, your surrogate will be able to step in and obtain information about your condition to make decisions regarding your treatment.

Your health care surrogate must act according to the powers granted by you in your legal documents. If your surrogate has to make a decision about a situation where your wishes are not known, they must act in your best interests. Therefore, we encourage our clients to discuss their specific preferences with regard to their medical care and treatment decisions with their health care surrogate.

Who Can Be a Health Care Surrogate?

A Health Care Surrogate may be any competent adult over the age of 18. The person you choose should be familiar with your wishes regarding health care treatment. You should trust them to act with integrity and honor your health care preferences and wishes.

Can You Have More Than One Health Care Surrogate?

Legally, you can give more than one person health care power. However, if two people are named, the doctor must get informed consent from both before treatment. This can be challenging if the people disagree. We encourage our clients to name one primary health care surrogate and at least one alternate health care surrogate to avoid this situation.

By naming a primary health care surrogate and a backup, you will provide your medical treatment team with options if your primary health care surrogate cannot be reached.

Contact Centonzio Law Today

When dealing with legal forms, you need an attorney who provides services throughout Florida. With convenient offices and the ability to meet at a time that works for you, Centonzio Law can help. We have worked with countless clients trying to prepare for the unknown and ensure their wishes are always carried out.

For more information about how to get a designated health care surrogate, call our team of legal professionals at (913) 706-9340 or use our online contact form today.