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Hastings Women’s Law Journal

Abstract

This Note will first discuss the social factors that make accessing retirement and support services problematic for lesbian and gay elders, such as ageism in the gay and lesbian community and heterosexual-focused retirement institutions. Part II will investigate how federal law and policy affects lesbian and gay elders' ability to obtain health care benefits and save for retirement. Part III will examine state and municipal solutions for same-sex couples, in the face of federal discrimination. Part IV will illustrate the necessity of acquiring an attorney because of the challenges in preparing for a lesbian or gay elder's incompetence, and the special legal requirements for tailoring an estate plan for these elders. Finally, Part V will assess the foregoing factors together and explain how the current social and legal framework creates a special economic disability for these seniors, which further ostracizes lesbian and gay elders and limits their access to resources and support.

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