Kara Kalenius Novak

Practice Emphasis and Experience

Estate Planning, Litigation

Kara Kalenius Novak counsels clients on all aspects of estate and trust planning and administration, including complex income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning issues. A significant portion of her practice involves representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in guardianship, trust, and estate matters and disputes.

Representative Work

Estate Planning & Probate

  • Advised estate planning clients on wide variety of issues; prepared Wills, Powers of Attorney, Revocable Trust Agreements, and other documents
  • Drafted prenuptial and property status agreements to protect inherited assets and family business interests
  • Assisted personal representatives in probate matters, including tax, real estate, distribution and other issues
  • Assisted with LLC, irrevocable life insurance trust, and grantor retained annuity trust planning for high net worth families
  • Advised clients on gifts of real estate, including qualified personal residence trusts
  • Counseled business owners on succession and sale issues

Guardianships & Court-Supervised Trusts

  • Ongoing representation of professional fiduciary in complex guardianship and court-supervised trust with related assets in excess of $20 million, including real estate purchases and sales, periodic reporting, investment decisions, and court-approved estate planning
  • Ongoing representation of national bank as trustee of various court-supervised special needs and settlement trusts
  • Ongoing representation of professional and non-professional guardians of the person and/or estate in various matters, including residential placement, health care decision-making, estate planning, periodic reporting, and real estate matters
  • Successfully petitioned for termination of settlement trusts for minor beneficiaries after beneficiaries reached age of majority

Trust & Probate Litigation

  • Successfully defended personal representative in probate breach of fiduciary claim
  • Negotiated resignation and replacement of trustees on behalf of beneficiaries
  • Defended personal representatives in creditor’s claim matters
  • Represented national bank in complex litigation with trust beneficiaries
  • Represented professional fiduciary in intervention (court-supervised) probate; handled approval of periodic reports, contested motions, and real estate matters
  • Represented professional trustee in management of revocable trust for divorcing couple


Professional and Community Activities


Author, “Estate Planning Update,” Montgomery Purdue Blankinship and Austin, Winter 2012.
Author, “Estate Planning & Tax Update,” Montgomery Purdue Blankinship and Austin, Spring 2013.