Virginia Advance Directives
Amending your Advance Directive
To amend your Advance Directive means to change it. You can make changes to your AD at any time you have capacity. Once you have been found to be incapacitated and your AD is turned on, you are not able to make any changes to your AD until you regain capacity.
You can make your changes by writing them on your AD, by adding them as an attachment to your AD, or by writing a new form. Anytime that you make changes to any part of your AD, you must make sure that it is:
If you choose to make changes to your AD, it is important to make sure that any “outdated” instructions are clearly crossed-out. Also, it is very important that you give a copy of your updated Advance Directive to your health care providers because your doctors are not required to follow any changes that they do not know about. Physicians and agents cannot be held liable for following an Advance Directive that they believe to be correct and valid.
Revoking your Advance Directive
To revoke your Advance Directive means to cancel it. You can cancel your AD at any time you have capacity. Once you have been found to be incapacitated and your AD is turned on, you are not able to cancel your AD until you regain capacity.
You can cancel your AD by doing one of three things:
If you revoke your Advance Directive, it is very important that you let your doctors, agent, and loved ones know. Physicians and agents cannot be held liable for following an Advance Directive that they believe to be correct and valid.
For more information on revoking your Advance Directive, please see Va. Code § 54.1-2985.
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This website is not intended to provide legal advice. It is merely a guide, and reflects one view of Advance Directives in Virginia. It can be beneficial to consult with an attorney regarding your Advance Directive. However, the intention of Virginia’s law on Advance Directives is to enable and encourage all capable adults to fill out an Advance Directive on their own.
This website is designed and administered by Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) and is funded through a grant by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.