Justin R. Key


Justin Key will teach “Probate Practice & Procedure” at Solo Practice University®. He also taught the course, Estate Planning & Practice in the 21st Century.

Justin has always focused his practice on helping individuals and families through some of their most difficult times with his skill and experience in estate planning, probate and domestic litigation, including will contests, divorce, custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), domestic violence (EPO / DVO) and complex property division cases. He has also helped consumers with bankruptcy matters.

Justin graduated magna cum laude from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, and summa cum laude from Murray State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science and a minor in legal studies. Justin was a member of the Brandeis Law Journal, the Saul Lefkowitz National Trademark Moot Court Team, the Lively Wilson Professional Skills Program, and received the Marlin M. Volz Scholarship.

He is a member of the following professional associations and memberships:

  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association (Family Law member​ and Solo / Small Firm section chair in 2014​)
  • Kentucky Justice Association (Domestic Law section and Website Committee member)
  • Indiana Bar Association

His community activities include assisting elderly and underprivileged individuals at Legal Aid Wills Clinics and helping children through Project Role Model at the Family Scholar House. He also speaks at high schools through the C.A.R.E. program founded by a bankruptcy judge to help high school seniors prepare for the real world from a financial perspective.

Justin owns and operates Key Law Group, and​ is licensed to practice in all state courts in Kentucky and Indiana, and federal courts in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Justin has been recognized as a Rising Star in the 2015 Super Lawyers publication.

Learn more about Justin at http://www.louisvilleprobate.com/ and ​http://www.​502divorce​.com/.

Syllabus – Estate Planning & Practice in the 21st Century

Get Your Decedent’s Data!

One of the most important steps in this area of practice is gathering the correct information about the individual whose wishes must be properly carried out by the documents you draft. This lesson will provide a thorough overview of all the data that needs to be collected, including digital information regarding a person’s online presence, and explore the interrelationship between other professionals that may possess vital information, such as accountants and financial advisors.

Pieces of the Plan

An overview of the important aspects of an estate plan in the 21st century, including wills, living wills, health care surrogates, basic trusts, and codicils. A brief overview of varying state requirements to help a solo practitioner who may be licensed in multiple states to draft documents that will allow his/her clients to live in a mobile society and not lose their estate plan upon relocation. This will include a discussion of maintaining a will bank for clients and how technology can assist.

All About PR – the Personal Representative

Whether an executor or administrator, an attorney must know how to properly appoint and monitor whoever is acting in this important role.
This lesson will explore permissible candidates for this position, which usually involves an analysis of the person’s relationship to the decedent.

That Dreadful Call – A Call To Action

No attorney looks forward to the call that a former client or loved one of the caller has passed away. As the professional, you must be prepared to act and assist the family through a difficult time.
Specific checklist will be provided to students that includes important legal steps, such as probating the will and properly notifying heirs, and day-to-day tasks that many forget, including notifying Social Security and creditors, and marshalling assets of the estate.

Digital Assets

This section will focus on assets that many do not consider when developing an estate plan for individuals with an online presence.
We will also discuss how to work with and plan for information contained in the cloud, Facebook profiles, passwords, etc.

Syllabus – Probate Practice & Procedure

Lesson 1 – Overview of the Process

  • Time period after decedent’s passing to probate will / open estate
  • Terms to know
  • Local practice
  • Overview / timeline

Lesson 2 – Getting Started

  • Will or no Will?
  • Petition – Confidentiality & Redaction rules
  • Bonds
  • Fiduciaries

Lesson 3 – Administering the Estate

  • Gathering assets
  • Inventory
  • Claims & debts
  • Appraising & insuring estate property

Lesson 4 – Settling the Estate

  • Formal v. informal
  • Attorney fee affidavits & personal representative compensation
  • Tax issues
  • Renunciations, Disclaimers, and other fun law school terms in practice

Lesson 5 – Alternatives to Formal Probate

  • Dispensing with Administration
  • Small estate affidavits
  • Challenges to probate (will contest)

Lesson 6 – Other Probate Court Issues

  • Name changes – Minor & Adult
  • Guardianship
  • Conservatorship / Curator