Trevor Brewer ’97 is Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board of UCF’s Burnett Honors College and a loyal UCF donor.
Students in Burnett Honors College are all high-achievers, Brewer says, but the similarities end there. The diversity of the students in the college means that some of them may hail from impoverished backgrounds, which is one of the reasons that he and his wife, Ashley, have made a planned gift to the college for scholarships to support them. The Brewers provided for UCF in their wills more than 10 years ago, when they were in their 30s.
“Some people don’t like to talk about planned gifts,” Brewer says. “Perhaps they think that it is hard or complicated to set up, or that you can only do it if you’re super wealthy. The only planned gift we have made was to include UCF as a beneficiary in our wills.”
Prior to opening his law firm, BrewerLong, Brewer did estate planning as a central part of his practice. He believes that everyone, no matter their age, should have a will, a durable power of attorney and a health care surrogate.
The topic can be fraught, Brewer acknowledged.
“What always struck me about estate planning was that people either go in one or two directions — either they don’t care at all, or they obsess over every detail.”
Brewer’s children — who are teenagers — know that he is involved with UCF, and that the university is part of his own estate plans.
“I want my kids to go on and be successful in their own right,” Brewer says. “I don’t want, nor am I living in a way that anything they get from my estate is going to make a huge difference in their lives. It’s just not how we’re living now, and it’s not how I would expect them to be in the future.”
It’s not as complicated as someone thinks to make a planned gift, Brewer says. The hardest thing is making the decision to do it, and then consulting an attorney to ensure that those wishes are documented in a will.
“Documentation is important,” Brewer says. “But I would add that it is also important to live your life in such a way that your family knows that this is something you care about.”
Brewer’s credo about planned giving dovetails with his personal credo about living one’s best life.
-Written by Camille Dolan ’98