As the opioid epidemic sweeps across the nation, estate attorney Kelli E. Brown ’93 sees the anxiety of clients who have children addicted to drugs or alcohol.
As Brown continues to see the number of clients with this problem increasing, she’s realized that parents struggle with knowing how to responsibly divide their estate since an addicted child may not handle a large amount of wealth appropriately.
“More and more, middle and wealthy families have adult children that are struggling with addiction issues. They come to me and I tell them there are so many things they can do,” Brown said. However, it’s the ones who do not have estate planning who Brown worries about.
In 2017, Brown wrote Estate Planning When You Have an Addicted Child to help explain to parents how they could decide in a responsible way to keep addicted children in the will or to exclude them.
Some of those options include placing assets in a trust, designating early on who gets personal property and finding a responsible person to be in charge even if he/she is not a relative.
After taking a media law class with Judge James Brogan while at UD, Brown knew she wanted to go to law school. Brown attended Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University followed by the University of Miami, Coral Gables, where she earned a Master of Laws in estate planning.
Brown has been practicing trusts and estate law for 21 years. She is currently a partner at Goldberg Simpson LLC, a law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is the chair of the trusts and estates department.
“The purpose of my book is to provide information to the average person who may have a loved one struggling with addiction. I want them to have the resources they need to make good decisions. They need to know there are many options,” Brown said.