Aug 03, 2008

Organ Donation: An Incredible Gift

Here's something to think about when you're planning your estate: More than 90,000 Americans are currently on national transplant lists, waiting for organs that will save their lives. One-third of them will die before getting what they need. You can help by becoming an organ, eye or tissue donor. It will make a real difference. One donor can benefit as many as eight other people. Consider these statistics:

  • Every 12 minutes, another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • In 2005, there were 7,593 deceased organ donors and 6,895 living organ donors, resulting in 28,108 organ transplants.
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

State laws differ on exactly what you need to do to make an organ donation as part of your estate plan. Many allow you to register in an online donor registry, or when you renew your drivers license or state ID card. To find out the requirements in your state, go to www.donateforlife.org.

To learn more about organ donation, see Nolo's article The Organ Donor: A Guide.