Katherine Barr

, Shareholder


p - 205.930.5147
f - 205.212.3856



A member of the firm's Estate, Wills & Trusts department, Katherine handles all aspects of estate planning and administration for clients. Her passion, however, and the focus of much of her practice involves special needs planning. She assists clients in providing for a child or family member with special needs in a way that does not jeopardize government benefits. She also assists when a person with a disability will receive a personal injury settlement or an inheritance and needs to keep SSI or Medicaid.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Best Lawyers in America©
  • AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating
  • Alabama Super Lawyers


    • The Best Lawyers in America©
      • Trusts and Estates, 2010-16
    • Alabama Super Lawyers, 2008-15
    • AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating
    • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), fellow
    • Birmingham Magazine "Top Attorney," Trusts and Estates


    • Special Needs Alliance, Alabama member
    • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), fellow
    • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 1996-present
    • Alabama Family Trust, advisory board
    • Birmingham Estate Planning Council
    • Birmingham Bar Association
      • Elder & Disability Law Subcommittee
    • American Bar Association
      • Real Property, Probate & Trust Section Committee on Committee on Long-Term Care, Medicaid & Special Needs Trusts, Chair
      • Elder Law, Disability Planning & Bioethics Group, 1996-present
      • Real Property, Trust & Estate Section, Publications Committee
      • Immediate past Group Chair, Committees on Surrogate Decision Making, Special Needs Trusts, Medicaid & Long-Term Care and Bioethics
    • American Bar Foundation, fellow
    • Frequent speaker at national, state and local professional education seminars presenting topics related to special needs trusts, planning for the disabled, estate planning and estate administration 

    Thought Leadership

    • Advises clients in planning their estates to accomplish their goals for distribution of assets to beneficiaries while minimizing estate tax liability
    • Assists families in planning for maximum government support and financial assistance to continue care for disabled family members, including preparation of special needs trusts
    • Assists with settlement of personal injury cases for persons with disabilities and prepared court-created special needs trusts to receive settlement proceeds
    • Assists families of the deceased in probate administration
    • Drafts necessary documents, such as wills and trusts, to carry out clients' estate plans
    • Works with families who need conservatorships for managing the assets of minors or for the management of the business affairs or the care of an incapacitated person

    Cumberland School of Law

    JD, cum laude, 1985

    • The Cumberland Law Review, Writing Editor

    Samford University

    MBA, 1985

    Auburn University

    BA, 1975

    • VSA Alabama
    • Board of Directors
    • Alabama's Special Camp for Children and Adults (Camp ASCCA), an Easter Seals Organization
    • Board of Directors, 1999-02
    • Parent Advocates of Down Syndrome Group (PADS)
    • Board of Directors, 2005-06

    • Author, "When Medicaid or SSI Benefits are Denied or Teminated: Now What?", The Voice: Special Needs Alliance Newsletter, November 2013
    • Author, "Art Programs Matter in Alabama", ACDD Advocate, Fall 2011
    • Author, "When Parents of Children with Special Needs Divorce", The Counselor, Spring 2008
    • Co-author, "Guardianships for Family Members with Disabilities", Estate Planning Advantage, Fall 2007
    • Author, "Top 15 Tips for Estates Planners when Planning for Special Needs", Probate & Property, March/April 2010
    • Author, "When Parents of Children with Special Needs Divorce", ACDD Advocate, Fall 2009
    • Author, "Designating a Special Needs Trust as a Beneficiary of Retirement Assets Part II", Exceptional Parent Magazine, December 2006
    • Author, "Designating a Special Needs Trust as a Beneficiary of Retirement Assets Part I", Exceptional Parent Magazine, November 2006
    • Author, "Celebrate the Power of Creativity with Alabama's Very Special Artists," Sirote Supports, August 2012
    • Co-author, "Planning for Children and Adults with Disabilities: The Benefits of Combining Charitable Planning and Special Needs Trusts", The Journal of Gift Planning, 3rd Quarter 2006
    • Author, "General Practitioners Beware: The Duty to Refer an Estate Planning Client to a Specialist", 14 Cum. L. Rev. 103, 1984
    • Speaker, "Guardianships and Conservatorships in Alabama," Special Needs Roundtable, July 2013
    • Speaker, "Life Planning: Special Needs Trusts," Rett Syndrome Conference, August 2013

    Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America© for 2016 - 8/17/2015 Read More
    Sirote’s Katherine Barr Joins Governor Bentley at Ceremonial Signing of ABLE Act for Persons with Disabilities - 7/30/2015 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Presents Alabama Society of CPA Seminar Series - 7/14/2015 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015 - 5/27/2015 Read More
    Katherine Barr Published in Birmingham Parent - 3/12/2015 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America© for 2015 - 8/19/2014 Read More
    Katherine Barr Appointed to Commission on Disability Rights by the American Bar Association - 7/17/2014 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014 - 4/28/2014 Read More
    Best Lawyers Recognizes 46 Sirote Attorneys as the "Best Lawyers in America" for 2014 - 8/16/2013 Read More
    Sirote Attorney Katherine Barr to Speak at Rett Syndrome Conference - 7/29/2013 Read More
    Sirote's Katherine N. Barr and Peter M. Wright to Speak at Special Needs Roundtable - 7/11/2013 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013 - 6/14/2013 Read More
    Sirote's Katherine Barr Featured by Special Needs Alliance - 5/31/2013 Read More
    Sirote & Permutt Estate Planning Alert: What to Know Before Donating - 5/24/2013 Read More
    Sirote's Katherine N. Barr to Moderate Special Needs Panel at ABA Symposia - 4/25/2013 Read More
    Sirote Legal Alert: The Changing Tax Climate - 12/10/2012 Read More
    Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the "Best Lawyers in America" for 2013 - 11/5/2012 Read More
    Sirote Lawyer Katherine Barr Supports Art Therapy For Persons With Disabilities - 6/18/2012 Read More
    Katherine Barr Elected To Special Needs Alliance Board - 12/8/2011 Read More
    Katherine Barr to Moderate ABA Webinar - 8/15/2011 Read More
    Craig Stephens Fellow in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel - 4/25/2011 Read More
    Katherine Barr Appointed to Supervisory Position for the American Bar Association's Real Property, Trust & Estate Section - 1/28/2011 Read More
    Katherine Barr & Joel Mendler to Speak at CLE Alabama Seminar - 1/26/2011 Read More
    Katherine Barr Featured Speaker at American Bar Association Meeting - 10/18/2010 Read More
    Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011 - 8/27/2010 Read More
    31 Sirote Attorneys Listed In Best Lawyers - 8/7/2009 Read More
    Publication Recognizes 20 From Sirote As Super Lawyers - 5/19/2009 Read More
    Birmingham Magazine Recognizes 17 From Sirote As Top Attorneys - 3/10/2009 Read More
    Fourteen Sirote Lawyers Named to Super Lawyers - 6/9/2008 Read More

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