Lipson Neilson, PC

Bloomfield Hills Michigan 48302

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Law Firm Name
Lipson Neilson, PC
3910 Telegraph Road
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 48302
United States

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About Lipson Neilson, PC

For more than 38 years, attorney Mary T. Schmitt Smith has provided legal advocacy and counsel for clients with a passion for protection. ÿShe is a parent and a professional. ÿAs an advocate for seniors and their families, Mary helps clients address issues encountered in the process of aging. ÿIn 2005, after receiving the Theresa Foundation Award for Community Service, she was inspired to establish the Theresa Law Center, P.C., located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. ÿ

After learning that her grandmother?s wedding ring ?disappeared? during a nursing home stay, Mary knew she wanted to be a voice and an advocate for older adults- to speak up for their rights and help their families. ÿIn 1999, Mary became the 1st Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in Michigan, determined to serve individuals who are seniors and their family members. ÿShe has continued her certification for the past 22 years, keeping current with elder law issues and rends. Mary has served on Elder Counsel?s National Advisory Board.

Mary advises clients about estate and protective planning, tax, real estate and probate options, with a distinct focus on drafting and administration of Special Needs Trusts (SNT). ÿHer practice includes both first party and third party Special Needs Trusts. She counsels both Trustees and beneficiaries. ÿMary served on the Board of Directors for The ARC of Oakland County Inc. and was elected as its President during her dozen year tenure. She is the 1st lifetime member of the organization, and remains on the Advisory Committee.

In the early 1980's, Mary created the concept of an ?interceptor trust? and persuaded Judges in 27 counties throughout Michigan to establish Special Needs Trustsÿto protect beneficiaries. ÿThen, in 1993, Congress specifically gave Judges the authority to establish SNT's to protect assets of individuals with disabilities. ÿMary has argued cases involving Special Needs Trusts before the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the Eastern District of Michigan and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals with success. Mary is a charter member of the Special Needs Alliance, and served as its General Manager in 2003-2004.ÿ

In addition to her law practice, Mary has presented on special needs trusts,ÿprobate, tax, elder law and estate planning topics for bar associations, conferences and law schools in Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona and New Jersey.ÿ

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