Do I Need to Have My West Virginia Living Will Witnessed or Notarized?

In West Virginia, you must sign your health care directives in front of two witnesses and a notary public.

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In West Virginia, you may describe your wishes for health care in a living will and medical power of attorney. In your living will, you may describe and document the kind of health care you would like to receive if you can no longer speak for yourself. In your medical power of attorney, you may name a trusted person (called your health care representative or health care agent) to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you are no longer able to do so.

Sign Your West Virginia Health Care Directives in Front of Two Witnesses and a Notary Public

After you create your health care documents, you and two witnesses must sign them in front of a notary public.

Neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • your health care representative or successor representative
  • the person who signed your document, if you were unable to sign it yourself
  • related to you by blood or marriage
  • your attending physician
  • a person directly financially responsible for your medical care, or
  • a person entitled to any part of your estate by operation of law or under your will.

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives

After you and your witnesses sign your documents in front of the notary, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your health care representative, if you named one. To ensure you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. You might also consider giving copies of your documents to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.

Review your documents every few years to make sure they still reflect your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your health care representative is no longer able to supervise your wishes.

Your properly finalized documents will stay in effect until you revoke them, if you ever choose to do so. The best way to revoke your living will and medical power of attorney 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 health care documents that you have revoked them.

More Information

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about West Virginia Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

When you make your health care documents with Quicken WillMaker Plus, they will conform to West Virginia law. They will also print with plain English instructions that tell you how to make them legal. 

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