In Virginia, your health care directive is called an Advance Medical Directive. In your advance directive you can include a living will (to describe your health care wishes) or a power of attorney for health care (to name a person to make health care decisions on your behalf). Or you can include both a living will and a power of attorney for health care.
After you create your advance directive, you and two witnesses must sign the document. In addition, If you grant your agent power to direct your burial or cremation, your document must be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized—and your health care agent must sign the part of the document that grants the power.
If you do not grant your agent power to direct your burial or cremation, only the witnesses are necessary.
Your witnesses must be over the age of 18, and we suggest that your health care agent not act as a witness.
After you and your witnesses sign your directive, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. So, you might also consider giving copies of your advance directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.
Review your document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your agent is no longer able to supervise your wishes.
Your properly finalized document will stay in effect until you revoke it, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your document at any time. The best way to revoke your advance directive is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your advance directive that you have revoked it.
Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.
Learn more about Virginia Living Wills and Advance Medical Directives.
When you make an advance medical directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Virginia’s health care directive laws and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.