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What is a health care surrogate, and what do they do?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Health Care Surrogate |

Estate planning is as important as ever, but what many people forget is that estate planning is just not just about death, it is about your life. In Florida, a health care surrogate is someone legally appointed to make medical decisions for an individual who cannot make them themselves due to incapacity. This designation is made through a specific form, and the person who is typically chosen is a trusted family member or friend.

Duties of a health care surrogate

The primary responsibility of a health care surrogate is to act on behalf of the individual in medical matters when they are unable to do so. This involves working closely with medical professionals to ensure the person’s care aligns with their preferences, values and, when applicable, religious needs.

Significance in estate planning

Incorporating a health care surrogate into an estate plan is paramount. It guarantees that health care choices are made by someone who knows the individual’s wishes and can advocate for them when necessary. Without this designation, Florida law determines the decision-maker based on a specific hierarchy, which can potentially conflict with your personal preferences.


The health care surrogate is an example of how an estate plan is also about your life. A health care surrogate is an indispensable component of a Florida estate plan. It safeguards one’s health care decisions. It ensures they are honored even in incapacitation. Including a health care surrogate in an estate plan is vital to protecting one’s health care interests and upholding personal values.