In this section, we will look at famous – and sometimes infamous – trust and estate cases coming out of Texas. In our inaugural edition, we profile an individual who definitely embodied A TEXAS ESTATE OF MIND: Emily Austin Perry.
Emily Austin Perry was a daughter, sister, mother – and, in more than one way, a pioneer. Sister of the “Father of Texas,” Stephen F. Austin, Emily and her family moved to Texas in the 1830s. Stephen F. Austin died in 1836 and left his expansive estate to Emily. At that time, Texas had some of the most sweeping laws granting women property rights. Due to these laws, Emily was legally entitled to keep her inherited property separate from her husband’s property and her marital property. This meant that Emily was one of the largest land owners in Texas and considered by many to be the wealthiest woman in Texas. In fact, it has been said that Emily was diligent in keeping her inherited property separate from her marital property in order to maintain its character as her personal property. Emily Austin Perry – a pioneer of navigating Texas probate laws.