Monday, June 14, 2021

Mountaineers Aging with Pride series: LGBTQ+ and Planning for Aging

Planning for aging as an LGBTQ+ senior. According to SAGE and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, LGBT older people are 2x as likely to be single and live alone as well as 4x less likely to have children. While this is not a bad thing, it does pose some unique considerations for LGBT persons as they age. Some of these considerations include deciding who you would like to allow in a hospital or care facility with you, who can assist you in making financial decisions, and what will happen to your assets when you die. Laws frequently assume biological families will be there for the aging process, but the laws are not necessarily built for families of choice. By doing some legal planning in preparation for the aging process, you can help ensure you have the people you want by your side.

All of these issues are particularly true in West Virginia, especially in our more rural communities. It can be harder to rely on support built through social networks in more isolated areas, making planning that much more important. There are various planning steps you can take depending on your unique wants and needs. Advanced medical directives, Transfer on Death Deeds, and supported decision making clauses in Powers of Attorney are just a few of the potential tools for helping you plan for aging. WVSLA can help with these and more! WVSLA celebrates LGBTQ+ senior West Virginians, and seeks to serve your legal needs. If you are at least 60 years old and a West Virginian you can talk to an attorney for free by calling 1.800.229.5068

contributed by Alexis Schneider, Public Interest Law Fellow at WVSLA

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