How to Donate Your Body to Science - New York Estate Planning News

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How to Donate Your Body to Science

If you are looking answers reagarding how to donate your body to science look no further. For some people, one way of putting their bodies to rest after death is through donating their body to science. You can help the advance of medicine; and it is a free way of getting cremated (down the road).

The researchers at FindLaw have put together a handy bit of advice for people contemplating body donation.

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) governs the donation of cadavers for science. A whole body donation is a donation of a body without the removal of organs for the purpose of research and instruction after death. Medical schools and private organizations accept whole body donations.

You can donate your body by pre-registering the donation with an appropriate medical organization (the local med-schools are the best place). It will be necessary to sign a form consenting to the donation. The donor should arrange for the organization to be contacted upon their death.

The law prohibits medical organizations from paying for whole body donations, but most medical institutions will pay for the costs incurred from the donation. After a whole body donor dies, most medical organizations will pay for the transportation of the body and may file the death certificate. The medical institution will often pay for the disposal of the body through cremation and will return the cremated remains to family members upon their request.

If you intend to donate your body to science, it is important to inform family members. It is best to put the decision in writing in a living will or in a letter to the executor of your estate. This will ensure that family members carry out your wishes. If the intent to donate your body is not made in writing, the law allows the donor’s legal next-of-kin to consent to the donation.

Note, while donating your body to charity is not tax-deductible for you (gallows humor), if your friends or family make a donation in your name to the medical facility, their contribution could provide them a tax credit on their state income tax return.

For a list of New York whole body donations sites, please see below. Remember to talk to your attorney before you sign up.

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