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Lifelines: Documents to Protect Your Family

May 2011 | National Center for Lesbian Rights

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"Although serious illness and the end of life may be difficult to think about and discuss, it is important for all people—and particularly for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people—to consider what they wish to happen if they become seriously ill or incapacitated, and to put documents in place reflecting these wishes."

For all LGBT individuals and same-sex couples, it is important to create legal documents that identify who you consider your family. When you have not created legal documents to define your own personal choices, the law usually will give preference to your legal heirs or relatives with regard to inheritance, medical and financial decision-making, and funeral arrangements. With the exception of a small, but growing, number of states, same-sex partners are not considered legal heirs or relatives.


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SAGE Long Island is a bi-county (Nassau and Suffolk) not-for-profit organization dedicated to meeting the unique needs of the Long Island LGBT senior community by providing education, advocacy and social support services. It is committed to providing high quality, life enriching programs that value age, gender, racial, ethnic, religiou and economic diversity and is further committed to fostering greater understanding, support and advocacy for the rights of LGBT seniors on Long Island. MORE >


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