For the many couples who could not marry prior to marriage equality, estate planning was vitally important to gain some of the protections for family otherwise available through marriage.
And yet, now that marriage equality is the law of the land, whether or not you choose to marry, estate planning remains necessary to protect you and your loved ones. Creating a comprehensive estate plan puts you in charge of decisions that have enormous impact on you and your family.
Below are just a few of the many reasons estate planning is necessary:
- If you have children, it’s necessary to appoint guardians for your minor children and trustees to manage their property. In absence of such planning, a court may decide these appointments.
- Without a will, the process of transferring property upon death can be costly, cumbersome and time-consuming.
- A durable power of attorney is necessary for your spouse to manage all your finances if you are unable to do so due to incapacity or other reasons.
- A will is necessary to control/coordinate disposition of your assets, including life insurance and retirement benefits Without a will, state law decides who inherits your property.
- Provide for a seamless transition of a family-owned business between generations.
- You want to protect your family’s assets from potential creditors.
- You want to reduce the potential impact of estate or income tax.
Estate planning is ultimately about protecting your family when they may need it most. In the event of the worst, it’s the last thing your family should worry about.
About the Contributor:
Elizabeth Brenner, Counsel, Burns Anderson Jury & Brenner LLP
Elizabeth Brenner is committed to helping clients achieve their goals, whether it’s protecting their loved ones or tailoring a solution to a unique set of legal needs.
Prior to joining BAJB, Liz’s practice focused primarily on public policy and public interest work. Having drafted, reviewed, and edited numerous pieces of legislation, she has developed an eye for detail and a keen ability to analyze a problem and craft a precise solution. During law school, Liz was the editor-in-chief of a law journal, the Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. As a law student, she spent her summers clerking for public interest organizations.
Liz graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003. After receiving her undergraduate degree in government, also from UT, Liz dedicated a year to public service as an Americorp VISTA. Because she’s lived in Austin since high school, she likes to consider herself a native Austinite.
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