Soundout • August 28, 2009

Posted on 27 Aug 2009 at 5:25pm
By David Taffet Staff Writer

5 questions with Lee Ruiz


Lee Ruiz began volunteering with the Legal Hospice of Texas in 1992.  He currently serves as chairman of its board of directors.  He is in-house counsel to a national tax services firm in Dallas and lives in Winnetka Heights.

What does Legal Hospice of Texas do?
The Legal Hospice of Texas provides timely and compassionate legal services to individuals who cannot afford an attorney and have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, HIV or AIDS.  In addition to helping them through their estate planning needs, we help our clients address legal problems related to their health condition.   

Who is eligible for your assistance?
Residents of Dallas, Collin, Denton, Henderson, Hunt, Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis, Cooke, Navarro, Grayson, Hood, Parker, Johnson, Tarrant and Fannin counties who meet certain income guidelines established by our funding sources and have an eligible diagnosis can receive services. 

What documents should everyone in the LGBT community have?
We recommend that everyone have in place a will and a medical power of attorney.  Most people will also want to have a directive to physicians, or living will, that allows you to make advance decisions about certain health care treatments.

You may also want a durable power of attorney along with an appointment of an agent to control disposition of remains and a declaration of guardianship. Speak with an estate planning attorney to be sure you have the right documents for your specific needs.

What do Legal Hospice of Texas volunteers do?
The Legal Hospice has great volunteers, including attorneys that have contributed nearly 5,000 hours of  pro bono legal services to our clients. We also have volunteers that are notaries, paralegals, language interpreters and that provide office and special event support. We are always are looking for more people to join us in our mission. 

What is Heat of the Night?
Heat of the Night is an important fundraiser for us and also a terrific party. This year’s event will be held at the amazing space at Studios 1019 and features The Perry Twins, DJs and producers from Los Angeles. They won last year’s West Hollywood’s WeHo Award for Outstanding DJs. The party is on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available at www.legalhospice.org or at the door.

Attendees get to hear the Perry Twins, have some amazing food, wine and cocktails and bid on silent auction items, including use of a Maserati for a weekend.

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, editor@dallasvoice.com­.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 28, 2009.

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