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Do i need a durable power of attorney or a medical surrogate?

Inverness, FL |

My boyfriend has stage 4 brain cancer. We were thinking about getting married, and i was wondering if i needed a durable power of attorney, seeing i would be his wife. Also, do i need a medical surrogate form to protect me from any unpaid bills he may possibly incur? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Yes and no. Yes, you need a durable power of attorney and a medical directive. NO, the medical form does not insulate you from unpaid bills. In many states, as the spouse, you would be responsible for these bills. I cannot speak from a Florida perspective in relation to that issue, because I am not licensed there. You need to meet with a Florida estate planning attorney, anyway, in order to have the power of attorney forms prepared. You will want to ask the attorney how you avoid responsibility for your boyfriend's debts.

    You are right to have this done, and you should have this taken care of as soon as possible. I hope that they find a way to successfully treat your boyfriend!

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. Immediately meet with a fl estate planning attorney to discuss his options

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/


  3. You may want to consider executing a durable power of attorney (and possibly other documents) now while your boyfriend has capacity. Then you will have the legal authority to handle his personal and business affairs while unmarried. Marriage may make you financially responsible to some extent. I am not licensed in Florida, but I strongly recommend you consult with an attorney.


  4. I absolutely think you should each sign a durable power of attorney, health care surrogate designation and a living will. Without these documents a guardianship is very possible, if not, likely. Having a medical surrogate does not protect you from unpaid bills. It is just important that you do not sign anything in your personal capacity which would make you liable for his expenses. Also, if you are going to get married and are worried about incurring his liabilities, you should execute a prenuptial agreement in which you waive each other's liabilities.

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