How To Choose A Healthcare Surrogate

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Your estate plans have many components. One of these is your plans for your medical treatment in the future. In your estate plan, you can state your desires regarding certain medical procedures so your doctors and other healthcare providers can act within your desires when you are unable to voice them. In addition to this, you should name an individual you trust to be your healthcare surrogate.

A healthcare surrogate is the person who makes medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated mentally or physically and unable to make these decisions for yourself. Anybody you choose to be your healthcare surrogate can fill this role; it does not have to be your spouse or one of your children. Below are a few guidelines to follow to determine the right candidate to be your healthcare surrogate.

Choose Somebody who Knows you and your Health Well

Your healthcare surrogate will need to interact with your healthcare providers to act in your best interest. A familiarity with your health history, allergies, and any other specific considerations healthcare providers must make will equip your healthcare surrogate to perform his or her role well.

He or she should be able to discuss your health history and current health comfortably. Ideally, your healthcare surrogate will be somebody you come into contact with frequently, somebody who can easily recall which health treatments you have received and the medications you regularly take.

 A Good Healthcare Surrogate Remains Calm in Emergencies

Emergencies could arise, and when they do, your healthcare surrogate must be able to remain calm and clear-headed in order to act in your best interest. He or she could be the one tasked with telling your doctor whether or not to resuscitate you in the event you stop breathing or your heart stops. This is a serious discussion that you need to have with your prospective healthcare surrogate before naming him or her to the position.

Your Healthcare Surrogate Should be Comfortable Communicating with Family and Doctors

Your healthcare surrogate must also be articulate and organized. He or she will be the liaison between you, your doctors, and your family in the event you become incapacitated. For your healthcare providers who need to know about your health needs and history, your healthcare surrogate has to be able to speak coherently and confidently about your healthcare needs. For your family members and friends who will inevitably have questions and concerns, your healthcare surrogate should have strong communication skills, including discretion and approachability.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Estate Planning Lawyer

Naming a healthcare proxy is an important part of the estate planning process. This is the individual who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot make them for yourself. Contact our team of experienced Tampa estate planning lawyers at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation with us, during which we can discuss the process of choosing a healthcare surrogate as well as other decisions you will have to make when planning your estate.

Resources:

merckmanuals.com/home/fundamentals/legal-and-ethical-issues/default-surrogate-decision-making

caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3286

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