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Organ Donation Week: Don’t leave the details in your Will

Posted on September 3rd 2018

This week is organ donation week, and we think it’s important to raise awareness about making sure that your family and friends are completely aware of your wishes.

Organ Donation Week runs between September 3rd and 9th. This year, the NHS is encouraging people to share their decision to donate their organs with their families. To do this, they are using the slogan ‘Words save lives.’

Should you leave details about organ donation in your Will?

Importantly, you should never rely on your Will as a way to share your wishes. This is because, by the time your Will is read, it will almost certainly be too late for you to become an organ donor. Remember, organ donation has to take place relatively quickly after your death and your Will may not be read until much later.

Instead, you should:

  1. Register your choice:

If you live in Wales and you have not registered whether or not you want to donate your organs, from 1st December 2015, it will be assumed that you have no objection to being an organ donor. This is known as ‘deemed consent.’ If you do not wish to donate your organs, then you can register that choice here: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk//register-to-donate/refuse-to-donate/

Otherwise, you do not need to do anything.

If you live in England, you will need to register your decision to donate your organs. You need to register your decision whether you would like to donate your organs or not. This decision will be added to the organ donation register. You can register by clicking here: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details/

The form only takes 2 minutes to complete.

  1. Make sure your family are aware of your decision:

Many people don’t realise that family support is needed for organ donations to go ahead.

That means that it is very important that you discuss your wishes with your family members and make sure that they respect that decision.

It is important to think about questions, such as:

  • Does your family know whether you would like to be an organ donor?
  • Have you ever talked about organ donation with your family?
  • Will your family members respect your decision?
  • Do your family members understand the reasoning behind your decision?

If you pass away and are eligible for organ donation, your family will be asked for their consent. By telling them your choice you can ease the burden of making an otherwise uncertain choice at a difficult time.

What can I leave details in my Will about?

Whilst you shouldn’t leave organ donation details in your Will, you can (and should!) leave important details about many other things. This can include anything from who you would like to inherit your money and property, to who should look after your pets and where you would like to be buried.

You can learn more about making a Will by clicking here. 

We are also part of Cancer Research’s Free Will Service. This means that if you are over 55 you can have your Will written for free. Learn more about the scheme by clicking here. 

How can we help?

If you would like to talk to a member of our Wills and Probate team, call us today on 01244 312306 or fill in our contact form and a Solicitor will be in touch.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306