Organ Donation and Wills

If a person wants to donate their organs after their death, it is important that family and friends know.

The Australian Organ Donor Register is the only national register to record your decision about donating your organ tissue for transplant after you die. To register as an organ donor, visit

It’s important that you inform your family of your decision, as families are asked to provide consent for donation at the time of death.

9 in 10 families say yes to donation when their family member was a registered donor.

When a person dies and has indicated that they wish to donate their organs their family members will be asked:

  1. to confirm that the deceased had not changed their mind since they recorded their intention to donate their organs; and
  2. to consent to the deceased’s organs being donated.


If a family member states that the dead person had recently changed their mind as to donating their organs or fails to consent to the dead person’s organs being donated, no donation will occur.

Organ donation is rare and time critical. Of those that die in hospital, only 2-3% die in circumstances where it is feasible for them to donate organs. Although tissue donation doesn’t require the donor’s death to have occurred under the same limited circumstances as organ donation, it must take place very soon after death.

Medical professionals will check the Australian Organ Donor Register, raise donation with next of kin, and assess the medical suitability of the person’s organs at time of death. Therefore, indicating your wish to donate organs and tissue in your Will may not be observed by family as they won’t have had an opportunity to read your Will before they are required to give their consent.


For more information please contact our experienced Wills and Estate Planning team:  4944 3322.