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Advance Directive Virginia

Advance Directive Virginia

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

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Updated on  

November 22, 2022
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10 Mins

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When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical Power of Attorney, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive. 

An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc. in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Virginia.  

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor (maker of an Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: No
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: No
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 1 
  • Other names for a Living Will in Virginia: Advance Medical Directive
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney in Virginia: Advance Medical Directive 
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues, nontherapeutic sterilization, abortion, or psychosurgery: No

Who can be your witnesses in the Virginia Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Virginia if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age,
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it,
  • your supervising health care provider/ his employer or a person related to you by blood  or marriage.
Advance Directive Virginia

Who can be your Proxy in the Virginia Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Virginia if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.

Notarization required for Virginia Advance Directive?

Notarization is not required in Virginia. However, the state of Virginia maintains an Advance Directive Registry where you can fill your Advance Directive. Your healthcare providers and loved ones will easily find a copy of your directive if you file your advance directive with the registry.

Learn about the requirements of Virginia Last Will and Testament and Virginia Last Will and Testament Template.

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Virginia?

In Virginia, an Advance Directive becomes legally binding but doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

Note: Your Virginia Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency. Ambulance and hospital emergency department personnel are required to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) unless they are given a separate directive that states otherwise.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Virginia Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation or directing another person to do the same on your behalf,
  • An oral revocation,
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way.
  • Executing a new Advance Directive.

Note:  Revocation of the Advance Directive will be effective once you communicate and convey it to your doctor/attending physician.

Also, make sure to file any modifications in your Virginia Advance Directive at the Virginia registry. 

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Virginia but once you have signed and witnessed/notarized it you have to complete a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Sections of the Virginia Advance Directive Form

Section 1: Power of attorney for health care

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. This section allows you to appoint the Healthcare Attorney-in-fact/Agent and fill in his information along with the instructions for him to follow.

Virginia Advance Directive Sample Form

SECTION 1: APPOINTMENT OF AGENT


I hereby appoint , 

_____________(primary agent) of 

__________________________(address and telephone number) 

as my agent to make healthcare decisions on my behalf as authorized in this document. 


If the person I have appointed above is not reasonably available or is unable or unwilling to act as my agent, then I appoint _____________, (alternate agent) of ______________________________(address and telephone number) to serve in that capacity.

Section 2: Individual’s Instructions (Living Will)

This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either:

  • that you are terminally ill and to prolong artificially your life you would need artificial life-sustaining procedures or your death will occur with or without the use of life-sustaining procedures, or 
  • that you are in a persistent vegetative state.

Virginia Advance Directive Sample Form

SECTION 2: HEALTH CARE INSTRUCTIONS 


A. Instructions if I have a Terminal Condition 


I do not want any treatments to prolong my life. This includes tube feeding, IV fluids, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ventilator/respirator (breathing machine), kidney dialysis or antibiotics. OR 


I want all treatments to prolong my life as long as possible within the limits of generally accepted health care standards. OR 


I direct the following regarding health care when I am dying:

_______________________________________________________


B. Instructions if I am in a Persistent Vegetative State 


I do not want any treatments to prolong my life. This includes tube feeding, IV fluids, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ventilator/respirator (breathing machine), kidney dialysis, or antibiotics. OR 


I want all treatments to prolong my life as long as possible within the limits of generally accepted health care standards. OR 


I want to try treatments for a period of time in the hope of some improvement of my condition. I suggest (insert time period) as the period of time, after which such treatment should be stopped if my condition has not improved. The exact time period is at the discretion of my agent or surrogate in consultation with my physician. OR 


I direct the following regarding when I am unaware of myself or my surroundings or unable to interact with others, and it is reasonably certain that I will never recover this awareness or ability even with medical treatment: 

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Section 3: Donations of Organs at death

Virginia Advance Directive Sample Form

SECTION 3 : ORGANS DONATIONS


I donate my organs, eyes, and tissues for use in transplantation, therapy, research and education. 


I direct that all necessary measures be taken to ensure the medical suitability of my organs, eyes, or tissues for donation. 


OR 


I donate my whole body for research and education. 


I direct the following regarding donation of my organs, eyes, and tissues. Additional instructions about your health care wishes:

_______________________________________________________

Section 4: Execution

You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required. This section of the Virginia Advance Directive form also states you are allowed to revoke the Advance Directive at any time.

Virginia Advance Directive Sample Form

SECTION 4 : EXECUTION

Affirmation and Right to Revoke:


(signature of declarant) (date) (printed name) 



The declarant signed the foregoing advance directive in my presence:


WITNESS 1 SIGNATURE: ___________________________ Date: _______ Printed name:_________________________


WITNESS 2 SIGNATURE: ___________________________ Date: _______ Printed name:_________________________

Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Advance Healthcare Directive Virginia?

An Advance Directive is a legal-written document about your future medical care. It is a gift to family members and friends so that they won't have to guess what you want if you no longer can speak for yourself.

Does an attorney have to draft an advance directive in Virginia?

The procedure of creating advance directives is simple, you do not require an attorney though you may choose to consult one. However, an advance directive either it is written or oral needs to be witnessed by two individuals.

Who makes medical decisions if you are incapacitated in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, incapacity means when a physician declares that the individual can longer give informed consent. Any person may designate someone to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated in Virginia.

What are the 2 major challenges with advance directives?

Advance directives have limitations. For example, an older adult may not fully understand treatment options or recognize the consequences of certain choices in the future. Sometimes, people change their minds after expressing advance directives and forget to inform others.

How do I get a medical power of attorney in Virginia?

It is the same as creating a document of Advance Directive. Firstly, choose Your Surrogate/Acting Agent, be specific on what decisions your Power of Attorney can make for you, and fill out your Virginia Medical Power of Attorney Form. Lastly, sign your document before subscribing to witnesses and a Notary Public.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

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