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Organ donation in Illinois

 Posted on May 23, 2012 in Estate Planning

In Illinois, individuals may donate organs either through a will or by consent at the time of the person's death. The easiest way to make such a donation is to include it in will planning, but if the person has not made provisions in his or her will, there are others who can give consent after a person's death.

In order to authorize donation of any anatomical gift, Illinois state law allows for a descending order of other persons who may make the gift.

  1. Any person who has power of attorney.
  2. A surrogate decision maker identified by the attending physician in accordance with the Health Care Surrogate Act.
  3. The appointed guardians of the deceased at the time of their death.
  4. The deceased's spouse
  5. The deceased mother or father
  6. Any of the deceased's adult sons or daughters.
  7. Any adult grandchild of the deceased.
  8. A close friend of the deceased.
  9. The guardian of the deceased's estate.
  10. Anyone else authorized under law to dispose of the body.

The law states that if a person makes a gift of all or part of their body by will, then the gift becomes effectively upon the death of the person.  This decision will not go through probate, and will not be contested if it can be proven that the gift was made while of sound mind and in good faith.

In addition, if a person wishes to make his or her organs available to a specific donee (such as donating corneas to a child or close friend), they may do so by specifying in their will.

While Illinois law does allow another person to make a decision about organ donation after a person's death, if you want to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death, it is important to talk to an attorney to draw up a will that will protect your wishes. The DuPage County estate planning lawyers at the Law Office of Stock, Carlson, Flynn and McGrath will work diligently to help you with your estate planning needs.

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