Medical schools and hospitals conduct research and teach future physicians through donated remains. These remains must stay intact in order to be accepted and they are used for one to two years before being returned to family members. If you are thinking of donating your remains to medical schools or research facilities, there are a few additional things to consider in your estate plan before finalizing that decision.
- Who will pay for the costs? Medical schools do not pay for your remains, but there are costs associated with donating your body that some will pay for and others will not. These costs include transporting your remains to the facility and disposing of the remains after they are done.
- Who will take over your remains when research is complete? Once the school or research facility is done, they will either return your remains to your loved ones or cremate them. These are things you have to specify in your estate plan. That way your loved ones can instruct the facility on what to do.
Lastly, your estate plan needs to be specific about your wishes to be donated. If family members do not agree with your decision and your estate plan lacks adequate wording, they can fight that decision once your estate goes to probate. Discuss the situation with your family and ensure that everyone knows your reasons behind donation to avoid any feuds in the future.