Brittany specializes in trusts and estate planning, helping clients with trusts, wills, durable power of attorney for finances, and medical directives. Brittany takes great pleasure in getting to know her clients, so that she can prepare estate planning documents that reflect the clients’ wishes and make their intentions clear. Estate planning provides many benefits including probate avoidance, management of finances and medical decision making without the need for conservatorship in the event of future incapacity, and orderly distribution of assets upon death. Brittany’s clients often express a profound sense of relief and peace of mind that they have assisted their loved ones by getting their “affairs in order.”
Prior to focusing her practice on estate planning, Brittany practiced family law, primarily working with divorcing couples in mediation. Her mediation practice focused on helping parties through a challenging time in their life, informing them of the law as it relates to their circumstances, helping them through areas of impasse, and supporting them both to reach a resolution. Brittany applies these same skills to her work with estate planning clients, to ensure that they understand the process of establishing an estate plan, understand the how the law will apply to their situation both during their lifetime and after their passing, in helping couples reach decisions about the ultimate distribution of their assets, and in helping clients understand other ways that they can ease the inevitable difficulty their passing will have on their loved ones.
Like her sister, Tate, Brittany is experienced in working with the unique issues that face the LGBT community. She has worked with same-sex couples on negotiating agreements between partners when there is no formal legal relationship, and in preparing estate planning documents.
Brittany received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Having been a stage manager throughout high school and college, after graduation, Brittany worked for the California Shakespeare Theater before going to law school. Brittany attended her father’s alma mater, earning her J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in May 2005. Prior to joining the Birnie Law Office, Brittany was a family law practitioner at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP, in Menlo Park.
Brittany also shares her father’s interest in travel and during law school, Brittany had the opportunity to study law in Norway, France, Australia and New Zealand. More recently, Brittany has travelled to Ireland several times to visit her extended in-law family.