What is a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate?

The Power of Attorney for Health Care or Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate is an Advance Directive that allows any competent adult to designate a Health Care Surrogate. The health care surrogate then has the authority to make all health care decisions during any period of time when you are unable to communicate with your physician or other health care provider. Florida uses the term: Designation of Health Care Surrogate for such a document. Other states refer to the document as a power of attorney for health care, or a health care power of attorney.

You can obtain a Florida compliant designation of health care surrogate, and a living will, at this website for a cost of $49 by clicking here: 

Prepare Your Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will, Online, Right Here, Right Now

During the maker’s incapacity, the Health Care Surrogate has the duty and responsibility to consult expeditiously with appropriate health care providers. The Health Care Surrogate also provides informed consent and makes only health care decisions for the maker.

The health care surrogate has the responsibility to make decisions which he or she believes the maker would have made under the circumstances – if the maker was capable of making and communicating such decisions. If there is no indication what the maker would have chosen, the Surrogate may consider the maker’s best interest in deciding on a course of treatment. You should have conversations with your health care surrogate, and family members, so that the surrogate knows what you want with regard to various treatment options.

The designation of health care surrogate is one of the most important legal documents you can have. It helps ensure that someone you know and trust is able to make medical treatment decisions for you when you are unable to do that yourself.  You can prepare a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, that is Florida complaint online right now. This document is prepared pursuant to Florida Statutes, Section 765.203

How Do I Designate a Health Care Surrogate or Power of Attorney for Health Care?

Under Florida law, a designation of a Health Care Surrogate (health care power of attorney) should be made through a properly drafted advance directive. The designation of health care surrogate and should be signed in the presence of two unrelated witnesses, at least one of whom is neither the spouse nor a blood relative of the maker. The person designated as the health care surrogate cannot act as a witness to the signing of the document. A health care power of attorney, or designation of health care surrogate can be notarized, but notarization is not mandatory under Florida law.

If the maker is physically unable to sign the designation, he or she may, in the presence of witnesses, direct that another person sign the Designation of Health Care Surrogate document on the maker’s behalf. An exact copy of the designation of health care surrogate must be provided to each designated health care surrogate. Unless the designation states a time of termination, the designation of health care surrogate will remain in effect until revoked by its maker in writing.

Can I Have More Than One Health Care Surrogate?

The maker can also designate alternate surrogates in the health care power of attorney, or Designation of Health Care Surrogate. The alternate surrogate may assume the duties as surrogate if the original surrogate is unwilling or unable, or ceases, to perform the duties and responsibilities designated to the surrogate.

How Does My Doctor Know Who Is My Health Care Surrogate or Power of Attorney for Health Care?

You should provide each of your regular health care providers with a copy of your Designation of Health Care Surrogate. You should also provide each person you have designated as your surrogate with a copy of the legal document. You may also provide a copy of your designation of health care surrogate to your attorney and ask that it be kept in the attorney’s electronic files. Your attorney can then provide a copy of the document to any health care provider you deem appropriate, upon request. Such an arrangement is particularly important if you travel frequently and may have a need for the designation of health care surrogate while traveling.

How Does HIPAA Affect My Health Care Surrogate’s Access To My Health Care Information?

A properly drafted designation of health care surrogate will contain a HIPAA release and authorization clause in the document. The HIPAA release and authorization clause will allow your physicians and other health care providers to provide information and discuss thoroughly with your surrogate, all elements of your medical condition and treatment options.

What is a Living Will?

Every competent adult has the right to make a written declaration commonly known as a “Living Will.” A Living Will is another Advance Directive.

The purpose of the living will is to direct the provision, the withholding or the withdrawal of life prolonging procedures in the event one should have a terminal condition, an end stage condition, or in a vegetative state. The suggested Florida legal form for a Living Will is set forth in Florida Statutes, Section 765.303.

In Florida, the definition of “life prolonging procedures” has been expanded by the Legislature to include the provision of food and water to terminally ill patients.  One is not restricted to the use of the legal form provided by statute, but can expand or limit the coverage of the statutory legal forms.  An experienced estate planning attorney or Florida elder law attorney can assist you in preparing an advance directive that is broader or more narrow than the statutorily provided legal forms (whether living will or health care power of attorney). You can obtain a Florida living will with the Designation of Health Care Surrogate that you can prepare right now by clicking here:

Prepare Your Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will, Online, Right Here, Right Now

Or, if you want the assistance of experienced counsel to ensure that your needs are properly set forth in your Living Will, please call us toll free at 1-866-510-9099 to schedule an appointment to review your needs and desires.

What is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Legal Will?

A Living Will should not be confused with a person’s legal will (commonly referred to as a Last Will and Testament), which disposes of assets on or after his or her death, appoints a personal representative, and revokes or revises a prior will. The legal will usually is drafted by a Florida estate planning or wills and trusts lawyer.

How do I Make My Living Will Effective?

Under Florida law, a Living Will must be signed by its maker in the presence of two witnesses, at least one of whom is neither the spouse nor a blood relative of the maker. If the maker is physically unable to sign the Living Will, one of the witnesses can sign in the presence and at the direction of the maker. You must also indicate on the Living Will, by initialing the document, whether your want your directions to apply for all three alternatives that Florida law recognizes, i.e., a terminal condition, an end state condition, or a vegetative state. A Living Will signed in another state is effective in Florida, if that Living Will was signed in compliance with either the laws of that state, or in compliance with the laws of Florida.

After I Sign My Living Will, What Happens Next?

When a Living Will has been signed, it is your responsibility to provide notification to your physicians of its existence. It is a good idea to provide a copy of the Living Will to each of your physicians. You also should provide a copy to each hospital that you have, or might, receive treatment, so that it can be placed within the hospitals’ medical records. 

Where Can I Go to Obtain Legal Advice About Advanced Directives, Designations of Health Care Surrogate, and Living Wills?

If you know you need or want a Designation of Health Care Surrogate (Power of Attorney for Health Care), a Living Will, or any other estate planning or elder law matter, please call us to discuss your needs and desires at 1-866-510-9099, and schedule a consultation, either in our office, or via email or telephone. You can also schedule your own conference with one of our experienced attorneys through our this website by clicking here to schedule an email consultation, or by clicking here to schedule a telephone consultation.

Or, if you just want a Designation of Health Care Surrogate (which comes with a Living Will), you can click here and begin the preparation of your advance directives right here, right now.

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