|Health Care Surrogate Designation
In this document, you have appointed one person to serve first in that position, and have also named an
alternate person if the first one dies, becomes incapacitated or cannot or will not serve. The person serving
as your Health Care Surrogate shall have the authority to make health care decisions for you at any time
you are unable to make those decisions yourself, or when you are unable to communicate your decisions.
However, there will still be the necessity for certification by your doctor that you are unable to make your
own decisions and communicate them as to your own health care.
Actions taken by your Health Care Surrogate do not require that you be in a "terminal condition" like the
Living Will. See the discussion about the Health Care Surrogate document under paragraph #1, Living Will.
This document is your notification to the Guardianship Court as to whom you would want the Court to select
as your Guardian, IF YOU BECOME INCAPACITATED AND HAD TO HAVE SOMEONE APPOINTED BY THE COURT
AS YOUR GUARDIAN. You have selected one person to serve initially as the "guardian of your property" and
another to serve initially as the "guardian of your person". Then you have selected alternates to serve in
the event that the initial persons have died, become incapacitated, have quit, or were unwilling to serve in
the first place.
Please notice that the persons serving for you as "guardians over your property" would be the same
persons selected as your Durable Powers of Attorney. Also, please notice that the persons serving for you
as "guardians over your person", are the same persons selected by you as your Health Care Surrogates.
As explained above, it is necessary to designate the "guardians of your property" because the Durable
Powers of Attorney are terminated by the Court at a certain point in the Guardianship proceedings.
However, the naming of the "guardians over your person" is not as necessary, but is done anyway,
because the Health Care Surrogates named in that document are still allowed to serve for you, even in the
event if the Court imposes a Guardianship upon you.
The Court will appoint a Guardian of "your property" and a Guardian of "your person". You have chosen to
PRE selected these people yourself,recommending them to the Court, and avoided the Court appointing
strangers, by not knowing who you would have selected! Persons selected must be qualified to be your
Guardians, which would normally require that they be Florida residents. However, if they are closely related
to you, a non-resident can be allowed to serve if qualified.
This has been a rather long and complicated explanation of your documents, but it is really necessary so
that you understand why you have different documents, and the fact that each one is designed for different
circumstances. Also, it is important for you to see that some of these documents pick up where other
ones leave off or are terminated by Court action.
Again, it is important that you do not confuse these documents with the necessity and/ or advisability of
having a Last Will & Testament, or when the circumstances dictate, a Living Trust. These Advanced
Directives and/ or Ancillary Documents are things that everyone who lives in Florida should have, whether
they are married or single, whether they are widowed or divorced, whether they are 20 years old or 90
years old, and whether they are wealthy or poor.
Congratulations in taking these steps for your own protection. There are very few people that have done so
to the extent that you have prepared yourself and your family for adversity. Very few of your relatives,
neighbors, and friends have Health Care Surrogate Designations, and hardly any at all have preselected
their guardians, if ever faced with that dilemma. Many may have Durable Powers of Attorney, but few have
"backup" provisions in the event of common disasters.
Many people have Living Wills, but no appointed no Health Care Surrogates to stand up for them if they can
not communicate with the doctors and/ or hospital administrators. Those people are at risk. With all five of
these documents no one can say that of you.
|The Thorpe Law Firm
7819 North Dale Mabry Highway, Suite 108, Tampa, FL 33614