How can you make sure your organs are donated?

Many want to donate their organs for therapeutic purposes, i.e. for organ donation, while others wish to donate their remains for scientific research, or both.

You should let the executor of your Will be aware of your wish to donate your organs, and for what purpose. You may also leave a memorandum outlining your wishes in a secure location that your executor is aware of. Since your Will is normally not read immediately after death, if mention is made in your Will about your wishes with respect to organ donation, it should appear as early as possible in the Will to maximize the chance that they will be seen in time to be effective.

To give your consent for the donation of your organs outside your Will (since, as mentioned, your Will may not be read in time), you may register your wishes with the Ministry of Health; complete the organ donation card that comes with a new driver’s licence; or complete a funeral pre-planning questionnaire. But be warned that funeral instructions are not legally binding.

Finally, you may not wish to include detailed funeral instructions in your Will, because it may become a public document; instead, a separate letter or memorandum can be written to the executors and kept with the Will.

If you would like to plan your estate and draft a Will, we would be pleased to assist.


DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article are information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact us if you would like legal advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a lawyer before taking any actions that are referred to in this article.

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