Legal Aid: Wills & Estates

A running list of LGBT-centered and/or allied organizations providing end-of-life planning services.

Good help may be hard to find, but it’s not impossible! Better still, it’s affordable.

We’ve compiled a running list of confirmed LGBT-centered organizations, or at minimum, allied practices, providing low cost, sliding scale, or pro-bono legal services to our community, specifically in regard to end-of-life planning and the creation of wills, trusts, and advanced directives. If you do not qualify for the services available in your state, it may be worth it to reach out anyways, in the event that a referral can be provided.

This resource is by no means exhaustive, and we will endeavor to update this page periodically. If we’ve missed someone, or you have suggested corrections, please let us know in the comments below.


A

Alaska

Alaska Legal Services Corp.
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal assistance, including life planning (wills, estates, advance directives, etc.), across the state of Alaska (12 locations).

Arkansas

Arkansas Access to Justice Name/Gender Change Clinic
Groundbreaking legal clinic specializing in issues related to transgender, nonbinary and intersex Arkansans. Their services range from sliding scale to pro-bono, depending on eligibility.


C

California

AIDS Legal Referral Panel
Provides legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS in seven counties around the Bay Area.

East Bay Community Law Center
Provides legal services to Alameda County residents living in poverty. Their Health & Welfare Unit offers simple wills and advance directive services.

Health Legal Services
A program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, HLS provides free legal services to low income people living with HIV or AIDS in Santa Clara County, including estate planning.

  • To be eligible for services, a person must be a resident of Santa Clara County who is living with HIV or AIDS, and has an income below 400% of the federal poverty level.

Los Angeles LGBT Center
Provides a variety of legal services, as well as a general legal clinic (by appointment only).

Sacramento LGBT Center’s Legal Clinics
Their clinics offer information, referrals and legal assistance. A collaboration between the Center, Legal Services of Northern California, Disability Rights California, the Lambda Law Student Organization of UC Davis’ King Hall School of Law, and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

  • Referral Clinic: 1st and 3rd Mondays, 6-8 pm

Legal Services of Northern California
LSNC is a legal services program providing civil representation to low-income clients in 23 counties. LSNC has a medical-legal partnership with the Gender Health Center.

Colorado

GLBT Center in Denver – Legal & Advocacy Program
Provides information and referrals, and representation in a limited number of cases.


D

Delaware

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services
Provides a variety of LGBTQ-inclusive pro bono legal services, including life planning (Wills, trusts,
estates, etc.).

District of Columbia

Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services Program
Provides direct legal services and advocacy to people living with HIV/AIDS, LGBT individuals, and patients of Whitman-Walker Health. Practice areas include elder law, including advance directives and healthcare powers of attorney. They can provide referrals on these and other issues outside of their practice areas.


F

Florida

Legal Aid Services of Broward County
Provides representation in housing, public accommodation and employment discrimination for LGBT clients in Broward county that are eligible for Veterans, Homeless, Senior, Ryan White, and/or HOPWA programs. Able to provide referrals for LGBT-people who do not fall within one of these stated sub-categories.


G

Georgia

Georgia Legal Services Program
Georgia Legal Services Program has 11 offices throughout the state of Georgia that provide LGBTQ-inclusive legal services for low-income Georgians.

State Bar of GA Pro Bono Project
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services in various areas, including Life Planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.). They’re also able to provide referrals for LGBT-people who do not fall within one of their service subcategories.


I

Illinois

The Center on Halsted
Provides weekly legal clinics on Tuesdays (4pm to 7pm) and Wednesdays (6pm to 8pm) for LGBT people in Chicago, by appointment. This is a setting where LGBT people can speak one-on-one with a volunteer attorney about their specific legal concern and receive appropriate information and referral options. There is no fee for this service.

Indiana

Indiana Legal Services
Indiana Legal Services’ is a nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income people throughout Indiana. Their Low-Income LGBT Project is a target effort at serving
Indiana’s LGBT population while continuing the greater work of their organization. Their legal services include estate planning, and other issues their target population face.

NWI Volunteer Lawyers, Inc
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive pro bono legal services, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.).


L

Louisiana

The Hite Law Group
A holistic legal practice specializing in all forms of advocacy and litigation for trans people anywhere in Louisiana, including estate planning. They charge a sliding scale for their services.

M

Maine

Maine Volunteer Lawyer Project
A non-profit law firm serving Southern and Northern Maine. MVLP offers a variety of legal services, including estate planning and medical-legal issues, like advanced directives.

Maryland

FreeState Justice
Formerly known as FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland, FreeState Justice provides legal services to low-income LGBTQ community members for legal issues connected to sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Intake hours for new cases are on the following days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Massachusetts

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
GLAD’s public information service, GLAD Answers, is free, confidential, staffed by volunteers and provides legal information, referrals to other agencies and referrals to attorneys in GLAD’s Lawyer Referral Service. Provides legal assistance and/or referrals for various legal issues, including Life Planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.) and Elder law.

Harvard LGBT Law Student Clinic
The Clinic provides a broad range of direct legal services to the LGBT community with a particular emphasis on estate planning (wills, powers of attorneys, partnership agreements) to ensure that same-sex partners and families are legally protected.

Michigan

Lakeshore Legal Aid – LGBT Division
Lakeshore’s mission is to exercise all methods of legal advocacy, training and outreach to empower low income people, provide access to the legal system and community resources, and preserve the dignity of clients.

Minnesota

Call for Justice, LLC.
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive concierge legal referrals and assistance to people who are uncertain about how to navigate the legal system.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services on a variety of matters.

Minnesota Lavender Bar Association
The Minnesota Bar Association pro bono initiative called Lavender Lawyers takes referrals for assistance needed by low-income LGBT clients for any type of legal issue, based in Minneapolis.

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
Provides LGBT-inclusive legal services for various legal issues, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc).

  • Offices in Mankato and St. Paul.

N

Nevada

Nevada Legal Services
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services in various areas, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.).

New Mexico

NMLGBT Bar Association
Individuals who are members of their group have provided significant pro bono assistance to the LGBT community. The NMLGBT Bar Association assists in helping clients in need of pro bono assistance find an attorney.

New York

Albany Law School
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal assistance in various areas of expertise, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.).

Brooklyn Law School LGBT Advocacy Clinic
Provides free legal assistance to LGBTQ New York City residents in a variety of civil legal matters.

City Bar Justice Center’s LGBT Advocacy Project
The CBJC LGBT Advocacy Project specializes in estate planning focusing on seniors and the HIV/AIDS impacted community, among other areas of law. CBJC provides free legal services to low to moderate income New Yorkers leveraging the pro bono resources of the private bar.

Columbia Law School— Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, founded in 2006, is the first law school clinic in the U.S. directed by a full-time law school faculty member and dedicated to legal and public policy issues related to gender and sexuality. They assist clients in various areas of law, including life planning (wills, trusts, estates, etc.).

Cornell Law School—LGBT Clinic
The Cornell LGBT Clinic provides free legal services to LGBT people in upstate New York. Cornell law students represent clients under the supervision of experienced faculty. 100% of this clinics programming is devoted primarily to LGBT clients, and the primary population served are members of rural communities.

ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project
Provides pro bono LGBTQ-inclusive legal assistance in various legal areas, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.).

The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York
The Association offers several pro bono legal clinics devoted to serving the LGBTQ community. The clinics are staffed by volunteer attorneys, available to provide general guidance and legal referrals but not legal representation. Each visitor can expect to have a 15-20 minute consultation with their volunteer attorneys.

New York Legal Assistance Group – LGBT Law Project
Provides free representation and advice on civil legal matters including wills, health care proxies, and living will preparation.

  • New York Legal Assistance Group also has a free legal clinics monthly at the following locations:

Trans Legal Clinic:
First Wednesday of every month
NY LGBT Community Center
http://www.gaycenter.org

Staten Island LGBT Clinic:
Third Thursday from 2-4pm
Pride Center of Staten Island
http://www.pridecentersi.org

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York
Provides LGBTI-inclusive legal services. Types of cases handled include various areas of law including Life Planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.). Through the Pro Bono Program, they also do family/matrimonial and estate/guardianship work. While they do not have a specific LGBT pro bono program, they have been working to help LGBTI prisoners, and have an attorney who is developing expertise on PREA compliance.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.
Volunteer attorneys provide assistance with LGBT legal issues.

Volunteer Legal Services Project
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services. Types of cases handled include Life Planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.). Other than providing general legal services to the community, they specifically provide name changes to the transgender community.

North Carolina

Campaign for Southern Equality
Conducts Community Law Workshops in various locations in Western North Carolina. Provides meetings with a volunteer attorney that can help with preparing advance directives, legal consult, support services, or provide referrals to other attorneys.

University of North Carolina School of Law
Lambda Law Students annually organize and host a healthcare/power of attorney clinic and a gender change clinic. They also work with BetterLegal, a project from the It Gets Better Campaign.


O

Ohio

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services, including life planning (wills, trusts, estates, etc.).


P

Pennsylvania

Mazzoni Center – Legal Services
Offers legal assistance on over 30 distinct issues including wills and powers of attorney for same-sex partners and families.


T

Texas

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)
Provides legal services to low-income individuals in 68 counties in Southwest Texas,
and limited services throughout the rest of Texas. TRLA has a team specifically focused
on LGBTQ issues.


U

Utah

Rainbow Law Free Clinic
A volunteer law student and attorney run legal advice clinic held monthly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rainbow Law Utah was created to specifically address LGBT legal issues in the state, including estate planning and family law being the most common issues.

  • This clinic is held the second Thursday of every month from 6-7:30pm at the Utah Pride Center.

W

Washington

KCBA Pro Bono Services
KCBA has a “Volunteer Attorneys Assisting Persons with AIDS/HIV” program in which
volunteers do estate planning and related services.

QLaw Foundation LGBTQ Legal Clinic
The Clinic offers a free 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney. Their attorneys are specially trained to discuss legal issues commonly faced by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, and they welcome all clients regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • The clinic is held the third Thursday of each month. Consultations are by appointment only, which can be made by phone.

West Virginia

Legal Aid of West Virginia
Provides LGBTQ-inclusive legal services addressing various areas of expertise, including life planning (Wills, trusts, estates, etc.).

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