West Virginia law provides four ways in which a medical power of attorney can be revoked. First, the medical power of attorney document can be destroyed by the principal or at the principal’s direction. If the principal tells someone else to destroy the document, that person must destroy it in the principal’s presence.
Second, written notification to the physician will revoke a medical power of attorney. However, the medical power of attorney is not revoked until the physician receives the notice of revocation.
Third, a verbal expression of termination in front of a witness who is at least 18 years old revokes the power of attorney. The witness must put the verbal expression into writing and then sign and date it. Then the writing must be given to the physician. Again, the medical power of attorney is not revoked until the physician receives the notice.
Fourth, when a person is divorced, a medical power of attorney that designates the former spouse as representative is revoked automatically. If you and your spouse obtain a divorce, you will need to appoint a new power of attorney. If you still want your former spouse to serve as your representative, he or she may do so, provided that you reappoint them with a new medical power of attorney.
See Appendix C of this manual for forms for Revocation of Medical Power of Attorney and Revocation of Living Will.
For more information, see: West Virginia Health Care Decisions Act,W. Va. Code §16-30-18 (2015); W. Va. Code §§ 39B-1-110 (2015); http://www.wvendoflife.org (last visited May 29, 2015).