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–DESIGNATION OF HEALTH CARE SURROGATE
A designation of health care surrogate, like a living will, is a form of advance directive. Specifically, a designation of health care surrogate is a document whereby a person, known as the principal, designates another person as an agent to make health care decisions in certain situations. Some of the powers given in the advance directive can include general authority to act for the principal and to make health care decisions, to provide informed consent for health care and to be given access to the principal’s medical records.
A probate is a legal proceeding initiated upon a person’s death and which essentially serves to wrap up the individual’s affairs. It can be viewed as a type of lawsuit whereby the court supervises the distribution of the decedent’s assets and the payment of creditors.
Probate may or may not be required depending on the nature of the assets of the estate. In many cases, the decedent has left no “estate assets” to probate because the assets are all owned along with a spouse or other individual as joint tenants (such as a house owned with the spouse).
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