Estate Planning is Crucial for LGBT Community in New York

Elder law and estate planning are important to many New York residents. These topics are for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. For many in the LGBT community, these issues are becoming important as they reach retirement age. In a recent study, it was revealed that gays and lesbians in the millions will be reaching age 65 during the next two decades. Many of those people are worried about their future.

In this study, an estimated 20 percent of those approaching retirement age are not sure if they will be cared for or be able to care for themselves financially. The LGBT community has the same needs as others when it comes to long-term care, senior housing and estate planning. Some states have started addressing these concerns.

For instance, New York plans to open a senior facility in early 2012. The facility is expected to provide assisted living, independent housing, and Alzheimer's care for those in the LGBT community. Other plans include increasing community drop-in LGBT senior centers and affordable retiree housing.

Those who are in the LGBT community should know that they have legal resources and benefits that are designed to safeguard their future. For these individuals, estate planning is critical and the earlier it is started, the better. An estate plan can help to protect assets and ensure that there are enough resources for long-term care should the person need such care. Estate plans can also include legal documents such as living wills, the preparation of trusts, and advance directives for medical or end-of-life issues.

Source: SmartMoney, "New Options for Gay Retirees," Catey Hill, Nov. 15, 2011

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