Designating a Health Care Surrogate in Florida

A Health Care Surrogate Makes Health Care Decisions When You are Incapacitated

When you prepare a Health Care Surrogate in Florida, you are the principal and the person you designate to make health care decisions for you is called a surrogate. The designated surrogate makes health care decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. It is important for you to articulate in the document naming your Health Care Surrogate what your wishes are concerning your health.

Unless you expressly state any limitations, under Florida law, your health surrogate will have access to your medical records to assist him or her with decision making. The surrogate can consent to medical or surgical procedures and make all decisions concerning end-of-life care including organ donation.

The surrogate essentially stands in your shoes and is charged with the duty of carrying out your instructions. If a situation arises that your instructions did not contemplate and do not provide for, the surrogate makes the decision based on what you would do or what is in your best interest. This includes pursuing or withdrawing treatment.

At our Wills, Trusts, Probate and Elder Law Firm, PLLC, in Sarasota, Florida, we draft your Health Care Surrogate Designation so you do not have to be concerned about what will happen to you if you become unable to make health care decisions for yourself.


Health Care Advanced Directives are governed by Chapter 765 of the Florida Statutes.

Simply put, a health care surrogate is a legal document where you name someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. Unless the document states a time of termination, the designation shall remain in effect until revoked by the principal.

You, the person creating/signing the document are called the “principal”. The person the principal designates to carry out the medical decisions for them is called the “surrogate”.