how to use your documents

Healthcare Surrogate

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We are an estate planning and business law firm.  We can help you create plans for your loved ones with three levels of planning to fit your budget.  

learn how to sign and formalize your documents

Florida Healthcare Surrogates

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Witnessing your Documents

It is your responsibility to properly formalize your documents under Florida law.  It is not a requirement to notarize a Healthcare surrogate under Florida law, therefore, there is no notary block on your document.  Rather, you must sign in the presence of two witnesses, one of which cannot be a spouse or blood relative.

As to the document, initial each line of the healthcare surrogate if you want to authorize your health care surrogate to have that particular power.    For paragraph 4, set forth specific instructions, if any.  If not, you may initial and write “none.”    

Initial the next two boxes (the bold letters) if you agree with the statements regarding the health surrogate’s authority.  Generally, the first box states that the health care surrogate’s authority to RECEIVE health care information takes effect immediately.  The second box states that the health care surrogate’s authority to MAKE health care decisions takes effect immediately, but it also lets you know you can revoke that authority at any time.  We direct you to the Florida Statute for an explanation of this area of law.  Please do not rely on our summary.

Have principal (you) sign the document before the witnesses.  One of the witnesses cannot be a spouse or blood relative.

Directions and Safekeeping

You may provide your designated surrogate with the original of this document immediately.  He/she should store it in a fireproof and watertight safe or drawer.  You should also maintain a copy of it. 

You may also provide a copy to your long-term doctors, but keep in mind that if you ever make changes, you will need to request that they return and destroy the document that is no longer valid.

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next steps

Now that you have your healthcare surrogate, work towards obtaining a complete Estate Planning Portfolio.  This includes additional healthcare forms such as a Living Will, financial forms such as a Power of Attorney, and other legal forms such as a Will and/or a Trust.  If you have children, we can help you name guardians and set up trusts to provide for their care.  For pets, we can set up simple trusts. For business-owners, we create business succession plans.


Formalize healthcare surrogate

Check the names and addresses of your document for errors.  Print it out.  


Witness the document

Sign document in presence of witnesses.


tell a loved one where to find it

Provide a copy to a loved one or tell them where to find it.  Store the document in a watertight, fireproof location.

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Disclaimer:  The Law Office of Lori Vella’s website contains general information directed to Florida residents.  This firm does not intend to give legal advice through its pages and/or blog.  If you need legal advice, we encourage you to find an attorney licensed in your state.  This language on this website website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this firm. Review our legal disclaimer page.