It is a scenario that keeps many people awake at night: you are ill or injured to the point where you are unable to make decisions for your care, trusting that you have someone available who will honor your wishes for medical treatment. Most of us would want control over who that person is, which is where a medical powers of attorney (MPOA) document comes in. However, in a situation where a patient does not have a MPOA, a designation called a “healthcare surrogate” becomes pertinent. A healthcare surrogate is someone who is appointed, generally by the attending physician or other care leader, to make decisions on your behalf.
In some cases, our appointed healthcare surrogate is someone that we wouldn’t mind having in this role, such as our spouse or adult child. However, this is not always the case, which is why it’s so important to get in touch with a qualified estate planning attorney in Seminole, to make sure this paperwork is in order. Particularly for non traditional relationships, same-sex couples, and blended families, having control over who makes the medical decisions is key. Without an MPOA, a healthcare surrogate is chosen based on factors like: their legal relationship to you (e.g. marriage), their level of concern and availability, and their mental capacity.
Want to learn more about healthcare surrogates, and medical powers of attorney? Get in touch with the law office of Julia J. McKee, Esq, and request your free consultation.