Advance Planning for the LGBTQ Community

Careful end-of-life planning is essential for all LGBTQ adults.

Even though Marriage Equality is the law in Washington, LGBTQ people still face additional challenges at the end of life, especially if traveling outside of the state. Few LGBTQ individuals have made advance directives. Many are unaware of the need for legal documentation to ensure hospital visitation.

Until recently, the partners of LGBTQ patients were routinely not allowed to participate in the medical treatment of their loved ones or even to visit them in Washington hospitals. The legalization of marriage for gays and lesbians ended that agony. Even so, a marriage certificate from this state may not have authority beyond Washington’s borders.

Begin YOUR Plan.

End of Life Washington has a long record of advocacy in the LGBTQ community. We provide an atmosphere free from judgment where LGBTQ people can talk about, and come to terms with, the difficult issues surrounding death and dying. We honor all people as individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQ Advocacy History

  • End of Life Washington began providing client services in 1993, at the peak of the AIDS crisis, and many of our first clients were people with HIV/AIDS. One of the founders of  End of Life Washington was Susan Dunshee, longtime director of the Dunshee House (formerly known as Seattle Aids Support Group).
  • From the beginning, LGBTQ individuals have served on our staff, board, advisory committee, and client support team. Many of our board members and Volunteer Client Advisors have deep roots in the LGBTQ community.
  • In 2003, with support from the Pride Foundation, End of Life Washington created the LGBTQ End-of-Life Advice & Hospital Visitation Authorization brochure, the first brochure of its kind in the United States.
  • End of Life Washington submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of equal marriage rights at the end of life for the 2005 Washington State Supreme Court gay marriage case, Anderson/Castle v. Washington.