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A Virginia Advance Directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes with regard to health care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment or procedure, and/or... Read more

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Making an Advance Directive in Virginia

  • What is a Virginia Advance Directive?

    A Virginia Advance Directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes with regard to health care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment or procedure, and/or appointment of a chosen decision maker.

    The individual making an Advance Directive is called the "principal," while the individuals or entities receiving authority to carry out the principal's wishes are known as "agents." Suitable for residents of Virginia, this free Advance Directive is made for use in Prince William County, Virginia Beach County, Fairfax County, and in all other regions throughout the state. Each Virginia Advance Directive from Rocket Lawyer can be completely personalized to address your specific situation. As a result of this official document, your medical providers will have a record of your decisions, and your agent(s) can offer verification that they have been authorized to act in your interest when you are not able.

  • How do I write an Advance Directive in Virginia?

    It's simple and easy to record your medical wishes with a free Virginia Advance Directive template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your Advance Directive - Answer a few questions, and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share - Review it with your healthcare agent(s) or seek legal help
    3. Sign and make it legal - Required or not, witnesses/notarization are a best practice

    This method, in most cases, will be notably more affordable and convenient than finding and working with the average attorney. If necessary, you can start this Advance Directive on behalf of your spouse, an elderly parent, or another family member, and then have that person sign after you've drafted it. Please note that for this document to be accepted as legally valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship generally will be necessary. When dealing with such a situation, it would be a good idea for you to connect with a lawyer.

  • Do I need to have an Advance Directive?

    Everyone over 18 years old ought to have an Advance Healthcare Directive (both a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney) in place. Though it may be painful to think about, there could come a day when you can no longer make medical decisions on your own. Common occasions in which you may consider it useful to make or update your Advance Directive include:

    • You are planning for an upcoming medical procedure or period of hospitalization
    • You are getting older or have declining health
    • You have been given a terminal diagnosis
    • You intend to move into a residential care facility

    Regardless of whether your Virginia Advance Directive has been generated as part of a forward-looking plan or made in response to a recent change in your health, notarization and/or witnesses are strongly recommended for protecting this document and/or your agent if their authority is challenged by a third party.

  • Do I need to hire a lawyer for my Advance Directive in Virginia?

    Making an Advance Directive is generally simple to do; however, you or your agent might have legal questions. Getting a second opinion on the document can take a long time if you try to do it alone. An easier approach might be to request help from the On Call network. Rocket Lawyer Premium members are able to request advice from an attorney with relevant experience or ask additional questions. As always, you can Live Confidently® knowing that Rocket Lawyer is here by your side.

  • What would I typically need to pay to make an Advance Directive in Virginia?

    The cost of finding and working with a lawyer to write an Advance Directive might range between $200 and $1,000. Unlike the other websites that you might come across, Rocket Lawyer offers much more than an Advance Directive template. If you ever require support from a lawyer, your membership provides up to 40% in savings when you hire an attorney.

  • Would I have to take additional actions after I make a Virginia Advance Directive?

    Once you've completed your Advance Directive with the help of Rocket Lawyer, you'll be able to open it anytime, anywhere. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you will be able to make edits, save it in Word or PDF format, or sign it. Each Virginia Advance Directive comes with its own set of helpful tips to follow while finalizing the document. You will need to send a copy of the fully signed document to your agent(s), care providers, and other impacted parties.

  • Does an Advance Directive need to be notarized or witnessed in Virginia?

    The specific requirements governing Advance Directives are different in each state; however, in Virginia, your Advance Directive needs the signatures of two witnesses. As a general rule, witnesses should be at least 18 years old, and no witness should simultaneously be named as your agent.

    See legal references for an Advance Directive in Virginia: § 54.1-2983

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