Being fully prepared for the future means making difficult decisions. Kentucky residents are planning for their futures and those of their family members should consider naming a health care surrogate.

What powers do health care surrogates have?

The law is specific as to what powers are granted a health care surrogate. The person who gives the surrogate the right to make medical decisions in their stead is known as the grantor.

The grantor will have an advance directive – also referred to as a living will. This lets them state beforehand what treatment they do and do not want. Another part of the advance directive can name a health care surrogate.

The surrogate comes on duty after the grantor is unable to make decisions on their own. The physician will give the recommendations, the prognosis and more to make clear what the grantor’s health condition is and what is likely to happen. The surrogate makes the decisions.

It’s important to note that the grantor must be deemed incapacitated before the health care surrogate can take over. If, according to the physician, the grantor still shows that they can make decisions on their own, the surrogate cannot move forward as the decision-maker.

Professional advice

As this shows, it is a significant responsibility and the prospective grantor should have someone they trust fill the role. It is also imperative to fully understand the ramifications of an advance directive, the health care surrogate and all other areas of estate planning. To have assistance with this sensitive topic and receive comprehensive explanations as to all it entails, speaking to professionals experienced in these legal documents is key.