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Lombard estate planning attorneys“It’s what he would have wanted.”

We have all heard this phrase used by surviving family members of a recently deceased person as a justification for taking certain actions. Too often, we say such things to make ourselves feel better about the decisions we are making on behalf of the decedent, rather than knowing for sure that what we are doing is what he or she actually wanted. Unfortunately, many families are left to figure out what their loved would have wanted because that loved one never wrote down his or her wishes as a part of an estate plan. This is especially common regarding funeral arrangements as the thought of making such decisions can be extremely difficult.

Save Your Family the Trouble

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Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerDo you have a plan in place for what will happen to your body when you die? While this is not the most exciting topic to think about, it is an important consideration for you and your loved ones to make well in advance of the need. An overwhelming majority of Americans choose from one of two options: burial or cremation. Some families need the comfort that comes with being able to visit a grave or the closure of spreading a loved one’s ashes in a favorite place. There is a third option, however. You could choose to donate your body to science and provide ambitious medical students with their first patients.

Organ Donors vs. Whole Body Donors

In today’s society, there seems to be a stigma attached to the idea of donating one’s body to science or medical research, perhaps because it is simply seen as non-traditional. Burial rites play an important role in many religions, but orthodox adherence to religious customs has been on the decline for a number of years. Additionally, more than half of American adults—over 130 million people—are registered as organ donors. This means that while many individuals are willing to have their organs put to use in possibly saving another person’s life, they are significantly less willing to donate their entire bodies. Research suggests that there are fewer than 20,000 whole body donations annually in the United States.

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