Katherine N. Barr

Katherine N. Barr: Attorney with Sirote & Permutt, P.C. AV stamp icon
  • Shareholder at Sirote & Permutt, P.C. (112 Attorneys)
  • 2311 Highland Avenue South, P.O. Box 55727, Birmingham, AL 35205
    View Katherine N. Barr's office location
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Attorney Awards


A member of the firm's Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice Group and named in The Best Lawyers in America , 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, where Katherine 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 families with guardianships and other protection matters. Recognized by Mid-South Super Lawyers, Katherine also assists those with disabilities who are set to receive a personal injury settlement or inheritance and needs to keep SSI or Medicaid. A fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Katherine is the Past President of the Special Needs Alliance.

What is the best part of your job?

I have a fabulous job. I meet amazing individuals, from all walks of life, who seek my help with special needs planning, estate planning, and estate administration. I love getting a hug when we’re finished with a project.

What are you most proud of in your practice?

The positive results in my clients' lives from the help I have provided. I love serving as president of the Special Needs Alliance and working on legislation to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spend time with my grandchildren, go to the theatre and movies, watch Auburn football, and travel.

Awards and Accreditations

The Best Lawyers in America
•AV-Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Mid-South Super Lawyers


The Best Lawyers in America

•Trusts and Estates (2010-2019)
•AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

•Mid-South Super Lawyers (2008-2019)
Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney in Trusts and Estates

•American Bar Association
• Top 15 Tips for Estate Planners When Planning for Special Needs, awarded Best Article, Probate & Property Magazine (2010)
B-Metro Magazine, Top 50 over 50

Thought Leadership

•Advises clients in planning their estates to accomplish their goals for distribution of assets to beneficiaries while minimizing estate and income tax liability

•Assists families in planning for maximum government support and financial assistance to continue care for family members with disabilities, including preparation of special needs trusts

•Assists with settlement of personal injury cases for persons with disabilities and prepares 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 guardianships, conservatorships, or other protective means for managing the assets of minors or for the management of the care of a person with a disability

•Frequent speaker at national, state, and local professional education seminars presenting topics related to special needs trusts, planning for a person with a disability, estate planning, and estate administration

Outside the Office

•Triumph Services
•Permanent Advisory Board Member
•Down Syndrome Alabama
•Board of Directors (2005-2019)
•Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church

Speeches and Publications

•Speaker and Author, Beyond the Special Needs Trust, University of Miami Heckerling Institute, 2018

•Author, When Medicaid or SSI Benefits Are Denied or Teminated: Now What?, The Voice: Special Needs Alliance Newsletter, November 2013

•Speaker, Life Planning: Special Needs Trusts, Rett Syndrome Conference, August 2013

•Speaker, Guardianships and Conservatorships in Alabama, Special Needs Roundtable, July 2013

•Author, Art Programs Matter in Alabama, ACDD Advocate, Fall 2011

•Author, Top 15 Tips for Estates Planners When Planning for Special Needs, Probate & Property Magazine, 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, 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


•Sirote’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice Group and Four of its Attorneys have received Distinguished Recognition from Chambers and Partners in Chambers High Net Worth Guide
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America for 2016
•Sirote’s Katherine Barr Joins Governor Bentley at Ceremonial Signing of ABLE Act for Persons with Disabilities
•Sirote & Permutt Presents Alabama Society of CPA Seminar Series
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015
•Katherine Barr Published in Birmingham Parent
•Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015
•Katherine Barr Appointed to Commission on Disability Rights by the American Bar Association
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014
•Best Lawyers Recognizes 46 Sirote Attorneys as the Best Lawyers in America for 2014
•Sirote Attorney Katherine Barr to Speak at Rett Syndrome Conference
•Sirote's Katherine N. Barr and Peter M. Wright to Speak at Special Needs Roundtable
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013
•Sirote's Katherine Barr Featured by Special Needs Alliance
•Sirote & Permutt Estate Planning Alert: What to Know Before Donating
•Sirote's Katherine N. Barr to Moderate Special Needs Panel at ABA Symposia
•Sirote Legal Alert: The Changing Tax Climate
•Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the Best Lawyers in America for 2013
•Sirote Lawyer Katherine Barr Supports Art Therapy For Persons With Disabilities
•Katherine Barr Elected To Special Needs Alliance Board
•Katherine Barr to Moderate ABA Webinar
•Katherine Barr Appointed to Supervisory Position for the American Bar Association's Real Property, Trust & Estate Section
•Katherine Barr & Joel Mendler to Speak at CLE Alabama Seminar
•Katherine Barr Featured Speaker at American Bar Association Meeting
•Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011
•31 Sirote Attorneys Listed In Best Lawyers
•Publication Recognizes 20 From Sirote As Super Lawyers
•Birmingham Magazine Recognizes 17 From Sirote As Top Attorneys
•Fourteen Sirote Lawyers Named to Super Lawyers

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Private Clients, Trusts and Estates
  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • Probate & Trusts
  • Probate, Estate, & Trust Litigation
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Wealth Management & Succession
  • Individuals, Families, Estates & Trusts

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
205-930-5147  Phone
205.212.3856  Fax
University Attended:
Auburn University, B.A., 1975; Samford University, M.B.A., 1985
Law School Attended:
Cumberland School of Law of Samford University, J.D., cum laude, 1985
Year of First Admission:
1985, Alabama


•Special Needs Alliance
•President, www.specialneedsalliance.org (2016-2017)
•American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
•fellow, elected 2007
•American Bar Association
•Commissioner, Commission on Disability Rights (2014-2017)
•Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate (RPTE), Chairman, Elder Law Disability Planning Group (2004-2008)
•RPTE, Chair, Committees on Long-Term Care, Medicaid, Surrogate Decision-Making, and Special Needs Trusts (1996-2004)
•RPTE, Elected to Trust & Estate Council (2006-2012)
•RPTE, Section Liaison to ABA Commission on Law and Aging (2014-2019)
•RPTE, Member, National Conference of Lawyers and Fiduciary Counsel
•American Bar Foundation
•Life Fellow
•Alabama State Bar
•Birmingham Bar Association
•Member, Elder & Disability Law, Subcommittee
•Birmingham Estate Planning Council
•National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
•Alabama Law Institute
•Member, Drafting Committee on Uniform Act on Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Proceedings (2018-2019)
•Member, Drafting Commmittee on Uniform Decanting Act (2017-2018)
•Member, Drafting Committee on Uniform Rule Against Perpetuities Act (2016-2017)

Birth Information:
Birmingham, Alabama, November 28, 1954

Peer Reviews

Documents (4)

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

Birmingham, Alabama

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