Meghan Alexander shoots from the hip. “Estate planning is like a colonoscopy,” she said with a hint of a smile from behind her desk. “Everyone knows they need one, but no one wants to get one.”
If anyone knows how important estate planning is, it’s Alexander. After all, a civil litigation attorney, she is half of the family practice that she shares with her father, Richard Alexander. Alexander Law Firm is a full service practice with experience in multiple legal fields including business law, estate planning, employment law, and general litigation.
But it’s estate planning that strikes a note close to home for Alexander. She and her partner Amanda Slaten have a baby boy together, so she’s well aware of how important it is to protect the future.
“But that’s not true. Oftentimes it’s the people who have average or fewer assets who really benefit from these documents. It makes life events much easier to handle and more affordable. And when you add in the wrinkle of people who have children, it is so much more pressing and important.
“I hear people say all the time ‘I don’t have anything, so I don’t need an estate plan or a will,’ Alexander said.
“Of course no one wants to think that they and their spouse or partner will pass away and leave their child parentless, but it happens. So not planning for it shouldn’t be an option for people.”
And for same-sex couples, it’s even more crucial, she added. Gay and lesbian parents have to work hard to adopt or conceive, and to not put the same cautious planning into effect when it comes to their future doesn’t make sense, she said.
For example, if one parent out of a couple doesn’t adopt their child or children, in the eyes of the law that parent is a stranger to the child. If the couple breaks up, that partner doesn’t have any rights or have any say in the child’s upbringing.
“To be an LGBT parent in this state is difficult,” Alexander said. “The state is not going to protect you, so you’d better take those steps to protect yourself and your kids. Straight couples have safety nets, and those aren’t there for LGBT couples.”
Because Alexander is part of Austin’s LGBT community, she brings an extra degree of expertise to family planning for same sex couples. But the practice helps families and individuals from all walks of life, gay or straight. What sets them apart is the care they give their clients, Alexander said. After all, their goal is to help clients solve problems, and she feels it’s crucial to give good advice and give good value for their services.
“You don’t call a lawyer because you’re having a good day,” Alexander said. “Something’s gone wrong. We are attorneys and counselors at law and sometimes the counselor part is as important as the attorney part. We give our clients the same advice we would give a close friend or loved one, and take good care of them.”