Final Rites & Organ Donor

Proper planning can ensure that final wishes are carried out by survivors with fewer complications.

Do you wish to donate your organs or tissues? If so, make sure to include ‘organ donor’ in your driver’s license. Please remember that you may have to be on life support until the organs are harvested even if your medical directive prohibits life support. Organs are not used if the person had serious diseases like cancer or is very elderly. However, vision and tissue donations may be used even after death or from the elderly. 

Do you want to be cremated, buried or donate your body to research or medical education? If the body undergoes autopsy or organ donation, medical institutions may not accept the body. If cremated, how do you want your ashes disposed? Do you want a funeral or memorial service held? Do you want friends and relatives to send flowers or make a contribution to your favorite charity? Your wishes on these matters should be documented where survivors can find them. One way to make sure is to include it in the Quick Reference Binder described under Estate Data Organizer. 

You may want to pre-plan your final rites and contract for it. You can do that with a local Funeral Home and pay a fixed fee in advance or later, when needed, the prevailing cost. If the cost is paid in advance the amount is normally held in trust, usually at an insurance firm, and paid to the Funeral Home at death. It is a good idea to carry the card of the Funeral Home in your wallet. Funeral Homes that some of our Seniors have used is listed here. 

Act on your decisions and discuss them with your family and/or friends who may handle your final rites.