Recently, we asked people what questions they have regarding estate planning or for topics they would like us to cover for them in this blog. Someone asked about “healthcare proxies.” And this is a topic we love – because it is so important to have a named healthcare proxy or surrogate. These terms are interchangeable, by the way. And we typically use the term healthcare surrogate in our office, but either will work.
A healthcare surrogate is the person you name to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Of course, your own decisions override any decisions your healthcare surrogate would make on your behalf, so long as you have capacity. But, the real issue is that if you somehow lose capacity, whether temporarily or permanently, it is too late to name someone to fill that role. The named healthcare surrogate can make all medical decisions and can also gain access to your medical records.
We suggest completing these designations to all of our clients. And, then, we direct our clients to give a copy of the documents to your healthcare providers so that in an emergency, your medical team will be aware of who your healthcare surrogate is and how to reach them.
Please call the office if you would like to discuss setting up your healthcare surrogate or for any other estate planning needs. We can be reached at (352) 356-8373.