By Attorney Jennifer Taddeo

In my experiences working with clients to create and implement their estate plans, we often spend time discussing issues that can not be addressed in their basic legal estate planning documents – their will, trust, health care proxy, durable power of attorney or declaration of homestead.  While I can not offer legal solutions to these concerns, I always seek to provide practical guidance.

One question that many people ask is how to communicate their wishes about organ donation – and how to make sure those wishes are honored.  As previously discussed on this blog, I encourage all clients to discuss their health care wishes with their families .   This is a perfect time to also discuss your beliefs about organ donation.  Would you want to be an organ donor?  Are there organs you would not want donated?  Your family should be able to answer these questions and understand your reasoning, so that, during a crisis, they could confidently make the decisions to put your wishes into action.

 Along with having that discussion and revisiting it regularly, each of us should register as organ donors if that is our wish.  In Massachusetts , we have the ability to register for the Massachusetts Donor Registry simply by checking a box on our license application or renewal.  By doing so, our names are entered into a registry as organ and tissue donors, and this registry can be searched any time such a donation is a possibility.  Your license will also bear a heart symbol that signals to emergency medical professionals that you are a part of the registry.

If you are over age 18, you can also register with Donate Life New England , where you also have an opportunity to document any specific organs that you do not wish to have donated, or any different wishes about donating organs or tissue for research.  In under one minute, you can register and provide your family members with a confirmation of the wishes you discussed with them.

 Massachusetts estate planning attorneys, John Dugan and Jennifer Taddeo are located in Franklin, Massachusetts. The team concentrates in Massachusetts estate planning and probate and trust administration. They work  with clients to develop and implement estate plans that reflect both their financial and personal goals. If you have questions regarding estate planning, please contact the estate planning attorneys at DCDC Law.