Requirements of an Advance Directive in Virginia

In Virginia, there are two requirements to make an AD legally binding:

  1. Your signature, and
  2. The signatures of two adult witnesses who see you sign the Advance Directive.  


Your Advance Directive does not have to be:

  • On a specific Advance Directive form,*
  • Notarized, or
  • Prepared by a lawyer.

You can complete an AD by yourself.  Some people do like to work with a health care provider or lawyer, though, and that’s OK too. Photocopies of your Advance Directive are as legal as the original copy.

* More information about Advance Directive forms is on our “Picking an AD Form” page.

Requirements of an Advance Directive in other states

Each state has its own rules about ADs.  Many states will follow an Advance Directive from another state.  But some states require that an Advance Directive meet their rules before the state will follow it.

​If you spend a lot of time in another state, then you should check the laws of that state.  A good place to find out about other states' psychiatric Advance Directive laws is

AD Forms Overview