About Andrea Weiss Bryk
MY WORK IS A MISSION
Working families need Estate Plans the most,
but prioritize them the least.
I grew up reading Jane Austen and was struck by how every story revolved around the uncertain financial future of the heroine: if she didn’t receive a substantial inheritance, her future depended on landing a wealthy husband. Those dramatic stories are less enjoyable in real life, so each of us needs to understand and control our financial circumstances.
We also have to be prepared for unthinkable disasters. I was finishing law school during the 9/11 attacks and saw that while thousands of lives were lost, thousands more faced uncertain futures. And it was the heroes, the ones running into the destruction, who were disproportionately impacted. Of the 480 emergency responders who died that day, only a handful had a Will or estate plan. Their grieving families dealt with protracted, costly, and emotionally destructive probate and litigation, adding unnecessary pain to their trauma.
Future-planning tools also change with every generation. Our grandparents had pensions and our parents likely at least had 401K options. A majority of the current workforce doesn’t have those kinds of benefits and Millennial and Gen Z workers will have even fewer opportunities to save for the future.
We should expect that our children will live longer and be less financially prepared. They need us to know that the single best way to transfer wealth to a child or grandchild is through trust planning.
Don’t get blindsided by the rules and processes associated with transferring assets. Death and taxes apply equally to everyone, but but those without a plan may be taxed more than those who are prepared. The idea that trust-based planning is only necessary for the ultra-wealthy is false—estate planning matters most to those who can least afford to lose.
19 years of experience, including Family law with the Reese Law Office; International anti-corruption work with federal government contractor; and Estate Planning and Trust Administration at The Law Offices Of Michele H Wright.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
American University School of Law, Anti-Corruption Program
Activities & Affiliations
Member, Virginia Bar Association
Member, Fairfax Bar Association
Member, Northern Virginia Women’s Attorney Association
Member, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
Volunteer, Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program
Licensed to practice in Virginia 2003-2023
“I’m also a mother and the wife of a first responder.”
I’m not just an experienced estate attorney, I’m a working mother of two teenagers and the wife of a first responder. I understand both the fragility of a family and the legal systems that will control your lives if you fail to make a plan.
I get that life is busy. I’m an active member of the Fairfax United Methodist Church and choir, a Northern Virginia Swim League official, and a National Interscholastic Cycling Association coach for NoVA Composite. I’m an avid reader (i.e. Audible / Libby listener), dogwalker, knitter, and mountain biker who also loves kayaking when weather permits. Plus, I’m passionate about trying to cook healthy dinners my kids will eat and ensuring that my family gets 8 hours of sleep a night. I get it.
Hard-working adults shouldn’t be blindsided by the rules and processes associated with transferring assets to loved ones. If you’re a hard-working adult, make a plan now to ensure that what you’ve worked so hard to build will continue to sustain your family in the future.
We can do better for our families. We’re not Jane Austen heroines, we learned from 9/11’s personal stories, and we have new tools to secure better futures for our loved ones.