Who We Are
Every day you make decisions to keep your family going strong. From the little things (what’s for dinner), to the big things (buying a new home), life is easier when you think ahead. Of all the plans you make, few will be as important as your estate plan.
At Nielsen Law, we know how overwhelming estate planning can be. What’s better for your family, a will or a trust? How do you name a guardian for your children? How do you make sure your child with special needs is cared for when you are not able to? Our goal is to clarify the process so you can make informed choices: explaining complex legal concepts in terms you can understand, laying out your options, and walking you through each step. With our carefully designed estate planning process, you’ll wish you’d started sooner.
Our value to our clients goes beyond a single set of documents. Your estate plan doesn’t just protect your assets. It protects you while you’re alive and need help, it protects your family, it can avoid unnecessary taxes, and it can ensure your legacy lives on long after you are gone. By building relationships, we can help navigate the estate planning process to provide you with the peace of mind that your family will be protected, no matter what tomorrow brings.
Family is the foundation of our law firm. We know that for many of our clients, family is what drives them to complete their estate plan in the first place. We also treat our clients like family, never advising them to do anything we wouldn’t tell our own families.
We emphasize long-term relationships because estate planning is not a one-time transaction. Families grow, assets change, laws change, requiring estate plans need to be updated accordingly. We develop lasting relationships with our clients and help through all phases of life.
The best personal and professional relationships are built on mutual respect. We respect and honor our role in our clients’ lives, the trust we earn and maintain, and the responsibility we have to the future of their families. We expect respect in return, for our time and for our expertise.
We maintain high standards for ourselves and expect the same from our clients. We want to work with people who are willing to commit and bring their best to the process.
Estate planning can be an involved and often emotional process. We try to bring laughter and levity to it as much as possible.
We are dedicated to giving back to our community through pro bono work and community involvement. We strive to spend 10% of our time giving back through pro bono legal representation, ad litem court appointments, nonprofit board service, and volunteer activities.
Experience. Knowledge. Excellence. Peace of Mind.
Attorney Liz Nielsen
Liz has guided hundreds of families through the estate planning process, serving as their trusted advisor to bring peace of mind to their lives. As a wife, mother, and business owner, she understands how overwhelming an estate plan can feel. As an attorney, she knows just how important it is to have that plan in place. Liz developed her passion for estate planning while in law school and, after the birth of her first child, Liz dedicated her career to helping families plan for whatever the future may bring. Liz is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, and estate administration.
Before founding Nielsen Law PLLC, Liz was an associate attorney at one of Austin’s premiere estate planning law firms, where she gained valuable experience in advanced estate and business planning, asset protection, trust administration, special needs planning, and charitable and income tax planning. Before entering estate planning, Liz served as in house legal counsel for one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Austin for several years. This experience gives Liz a unique perspective in advising clients who want to include charities in their estate plans.
Liz grew up in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Psychology and Religion with a concentration in Human Rights from Barnard College of Columbia University. After graduation, Liz moved to Austin and received her J.D. with Honors from The University of Texas School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Achievement Award for obtaining the highest grade in Wills & Estates.
Liz is very engaged with the legal community and enjoys collaborating with other attorneys. She is on the board of the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and serves as the publicity co-chair. She is also the treasurer of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Austin Bar. Additionally, Liz is a member of WealthCounsel, the nation’s premier association of estate planning attorneys. She is active in the Texas Forum, a study group of Texas estate planning lawyers that meets twice a year to discuss advanced estate planning strategies and recent changes in the law, and served as the 2017 Texas Forum Leader. Liz is also a member the State Bar of Texas, the Austin Bar Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas, and the Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Liz is a frequent speaker to professional groups, schools, and the legal community in the areas of Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, and Charitable Giving.
Giving back to the Austin community is very important to Liz. She is on the board of AGE of Central Texas, a nonprofit organization that helps older adults and their caregivers thrive as they navigate the realities and opportunities of aging and caregiving. She is an active member of Impact Austin, one of the largest women’s philanthropy groups in the nation, serving as Education Grant Committee member in 2019 and 2020. She is also a regular supporter of many Austin nonprofit organizations, including Family Eldercare, the Central Texas Food Bank, KUT, the Austin Humane Society, the Trail Foundation, the League of Women’s Voters, the SAFE Alliance, and Any Baby Can.
Liz and her husband, Ryan, are the proud parents of Jillian and Penny and spend as much time as they can with their girls. They enjoy going on walks around their Northwest Austin neighborhood, traveling around the world, spending time with friends and family, and watching sports, including the Texas Longhorns, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs.
Attorney Elizabeth Ziegler
Elizabeth is an Austin native, who grew up in the Georgetown area. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Journalism. She received her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Elizabeth began her journey to becoming an estate planner before law school. Her goal during school was to focus on the field and to help families both plan ahead and navigate the probate process. During her time at St. Mary’s, Elizabeth focused on estate planning and legal research. She interned with the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid office and in Probate Court No. 2 of Bexar County. Elizabeth also worked as a student attorney in the St. Mary’s Civil Justice – Family law clinical program during her time at St. Mary’s. During her time with the clinical program, Elizabeth focused on estate planning and estate administration cases.
Elizabeth also joined the Dean’s Research Fellows during her time at school. While there, she provided legal research for the law school’s Dean and faculty on topics ranging from commercial paper, products liability, to Chinese tort law.
In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys relaxing with either a good book, an engrossing tv series, or an exciting video game. She continues to grow by learning new languages and continuing her study of world history.
Heather Zoric, Paralegal
Heather comes to Nielsen Law with several years of experience assisting clients with estate planning and probate, as well as experience in other areas of law. She is a graduate of the University of Texas Paralegal Studies Program. She is also a member of the Williamson County Bar Association, Paralegal Division and the Capital Area Paralegal Association. Heather grew up in Austin and loves spending time outdoors with her family and 2 dogs.
As a paralegal, Heather helps guide clients through the estate administration and probate process. She also assists in drafting and finalizing our clients’ estate planning documents and ensuring all documents are ready for the signing meeting. Her attention to detail, commitment to professional development, and positive attitude make Heather an integral member of the Nielsen Law team.
Cort McDonough, Client Relations Manager and Office Administrator
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennyslvania, Cort moved to Austin to pursue his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. After obtaining his degree, Cort went on to complete the University of Texas Paralegal Studies Program. He is a member of the Capital Area Paralegal Association and looks forward to taking on more paralegal work. As an avid fan of music, sports and food, he was immediately drawn to Austin and its uniquely hip culture. Cort and his dog have quickly found themselves at home in Austin.
As our Client Relations Manager and Office Administrator, Cort is responsible for ensuring that our clients are provided with first-class service and streamlined communication for make the Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Guardianship processes as timely and productive as possible. He is also working alongside our paralegals learning our estate planning process. Cort's constant drive for professional growth and his ambition to learn has made him a valuable member of our team here at Nielsen Law PLLC.
What our clients say
Liz Nielsen was very caring and attentive to my concerns and questions about acquiring a Special Needs Trust for my son along with my Living Trust and other legal documents. Once all the docs were drawn up, signed, and delivered, Liz continued to be there to answer my questions and ease other concerns that I had. I'm happy that after much discernment on choosing the right attorney, I picked a winner! I have and will continue to refer Liz. Thank you Liz Nielsen.
Liz was great, she's very good at what she does and you can tell she enjoys every minute of it. We always felt at ease and comfortable. She was very organized, informative, and meticulous.
My family and I were desperately looking for a lawyer to review our mother's will documents and the Special Needs Trust for our brother to find out if these documents were properly drawn up and would protect my mother's estate and brother's needs. I called a social security lawyer that couldn't help with special needs trusts, but was referred to the Nielsen Law Firm. Apparently the Nielsen Law Firm is known by other law firms so that was affirmation enough for me to pursue a consultation. When obstacles came up in regard to location difficulties or other issues, Liz Nielsen will go the extra mile. She quickly assessed the problems we had, outlined what was needed and how to proceed step by step in a very understandable way. If you are needing a very knowledgeable lawyer, who is efficient, resourceful and a good listener, choose Liz Nielsen. I am so thankful I found her!!
We are very happy that we chose to work with Nielsen Law for our family’s estate plan. Liz was able to walk us step by step through the entire process and develop a plan to meet our family’s needs. We now have peace of mind that our daughter will be protected should anything happen to us. Liz is an incredibly professional, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorney whom we look forward to working with for the rest of our lives. We would highly recommend Liz Nielsen and Nielsen Law to anyone interested in estate planning.
Liz at the Nielsen Law Firm was extremely helpful and professional while helping set up my estate plan. Very informative and highly recommended.
I want to thank Liz for helping me and my sister set up a Living Trust and a Special Needs Trust for our family. My sister and I felt like our family was in trouble with the existing Trust that we had and wasn't sure where to turn. Liz did an outstanding job of re-doing our mothers Will/Trust and taking us through every detail of that Will/Trust. Our mother is too ill to make a trip to Liz's office and she took the time to come to my mother's home to meet with her. I feel like Liz is not your typical Austin Attorney she kind of became part of our family. I can't say enough good things about Liz and her firm. All I can say is thank you Liz for being there for us now and in the future!