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How do you donate your body to science?

You may have already created a detailed estate plan that indicates what you want to happen to your assets and your property after your death, but have you thought about what will happen to your body? A whole-body donation in Florida is a generous final gift that you can give to help promote the advancement of science, the instruction of medical students and the study of disease. 

According to FindLaw, you should express your wish to donate your body to science in writing and make the document part of your estate plan. However, you should not express this wish in your last will and testament because your loved ones often will not find out what it says until after the funeral or memorial service. Rather, you should make this request part of your living will, if you have one. Alternatively, you can write a letter to the executor of your estate expressing your wishes. It is also a good idea to inform your loved ones face-to-face about your decision in addition to putting it in writing. 

Though not required, it is also a good idea to make arrangements with the organization that will receive your donated body prior to your death. This involves signing a consent form to pre-register the donation. You should leave instructions for your family members to contact the organization upon your death. However, if you change your mind about the donation, you can revoke it in writing at any time. 

Once the organization has no further need of your remains, it will usually have them cremated at its own expense. Your family members can request that the organization return the cremated remains. You can leave instructions in your estate plan about what you want your family members to do with the ashes upon their return. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.


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