In West Virginia, your health care directive includes one or two documents: You can use a Living Will to describe the kind of health care you would like to receive, and you can use a Medical Power of Attorney to name a trusted person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself.
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.
After you and your witnesses sign your documents in front of notary public, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your health care representative, 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 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 that 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. You can revoke your documents at any time. 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.
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 all of West Virginia’s laws about health care directives. And it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.