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Todd D. Schmitz
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Todd D. Schmitz

Practice areas:

Elder Law, Trusts, Estate Planning

About Me

What Kind of Law do you practice: Only estate planning, no slip-and-falls, no divorces, no drunk driving cases.  No Macomb County circuit court or probate court practice.  As a VA-accredited attorney, I assist veterans and widows with veterans benefits.  We also do Medicaid planning.  Our aim is to keep people out of court when there is a disability; to keep people out of court when there's a death and to reduce their tax liability. And, to protect people's estates from nursing home costs. I had a family member with Alzheimer's and I was aware of the challenges, and that interested me in estate planning.


We also do estate planning for those who have children with special needs. A lot of people think the way to protect the child's government benefits to disinherit them. But there are special needs trusts, so they get all their needs met without losing their benefits, and without being disinherited. People have to take the time to find out about their options.


We handle living trusts, Medicaid, and special needs and teach people about how they can help preserve or qualify for benefits.


TV Show: The Daily Show, Downton Abbey, White Collar.


Movie: "Hero" with Dustin Hoffman. Also, we're a Disney family and enjoy Disney movies: Pirates of the Carribean, Game Plan, many others.


Music: I like all kinds. In the past I played cello with the Macomb Symphony, so I like pop and classical. It's a great orchestra and they present several offerings each season. Tom Cook, the conductor, does an outstanding job with the organization. I think it's important for our community's character to have a good arts and music program.


Magazines: Computer magazines, I enjoy the technology.


Books: History and biographies. 


Food: I like Thai, and I enjoy a good steak, too.


Sports: I like all the Detroit teams. I played softball in Eastpointe, which has a good recreation league. Observers agree I'm a better lawyer than softball player!


Vacation Spot: Disney World.


 


If you were independently wealthy, what would you do with your time & your  money:  I would spend more time with my family, vacation a little more, but I pretty much am doing what I enjoy and have everything I need right now


Birthplace: I was born in Mount Clemens. I grew up in Mount Clemens and I graduated from Mount Clemens High School. I'm one of Mount Clemens Battling Bathers. That's the name because the city used to be famous for mineral baths and people came here from all over the world. My parents still live in Mount Clemens. My dad was a teacher at Mount Clemens High School.


Residence: I currently live in Eastpointe.


Family: I'm married. My wife is Maryanne and we have four children.


Education: After Mount Clemens High School, I went to Michigan State University and for two years I majored in electrical engineering, then for one brief semester I majored in political science. I graduated with my bachelor's degree and a major in economics.  I went to Wayne State University for my law degree and graduated in 1992.


Occupation: After working for the federal, state and then county levels of government, I decided to go out into private practice. After practicing for several years, I put my full-time practice on hold to serve again in county government.


What did you think you were going to be growing up? I thought I was going to be an engineer.


What was your first job? I worked the deep fry at Taco Bell, and to this day I still enjoy Taco Bell food.


What was your first car? It was a 1984 Chevy Impala. It was handed down from my parents.


What would you like to be doing in 10 years? Spending more time with my family, practicing a little law and volunteering for local community service, or in local politics.


 


 

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1992

  1. Elder Law: 50%
    18 years
  2. Trusts: 30%
    18 years, 1 thousand cases
  3. Estate Planning: 20%
    18 years

Payment

Fees:

Fixed (Always), Free Consultation (60 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check

Attorney Endorsements

23 total 

  • William E. Westerbeke

    Todd is a top notch Elder Law and Medicaid Planning attorney. From my experience, he has a thorough understanding of technical issues and a gift for finding practical solutions for clients. I am sure clients appreciate his down-to-earth, approachable, and friendly demeanor. I endorse Todd’s work and would not hesitate to recommend his services.

    More 

    William Westerbeke Estate Planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Henry Devos Lawrie

    I endorse Todd Schmitz. He was extremely helpful in assisting me in qualifying my father for Medicaid. I have been a successful tax and corporate partner with a national law firm for many years, but was lost in this technical area. He managed the submission to the Agency, designed the trust to protect my mother, dealt with Medicare on behalf of my father and stayed in constant contact with us. Our submission had several complicating factors. Very knowledgeable and efficient with a helpful staff.

    More 

    Henry Lawrie Insurance Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
MIActive And In Good Standing199206/27/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
36 hours Continuing Legal Education metAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2014
36 hours Continuing Legal Education metAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2013
36 hours Continuing Legal Education metAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2012
36 hours Continuing Legal Education metAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2011
36 hours Continuing Legal Education metAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2009
Probate and Estate Planning Program CertificateMichigan State Bar Association Probate and Estate Planning Sections2008
36 hours Continuing Legal Education Requirement MetAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2008

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Elder Law AttorneyThe Elder & Disability Law Firm, PLLC2003 - Present

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Macomb County Bar Association Real Property CommitteeMember2014 - Present
AARP Legal Services NetworkMember2008 - 2010
National Association of Elder Law AttorneysMember2006 - Present
Macomb County Probate Bar AssociationMember2006 - Present
American Academy of Estate Planning AttorneysMember2003 - Present
Macomb County Bar AssociationElder Law Committee, Real Property Committee1994 - Present
Michigan Bar AssociationMember1992 - Present

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Medicaid qualification of married clientMedicaid approval by MI DHS
Medicaid qualification for unmarried clientDHS approval
Successful Medicaid payment to nursing home after client's deathVictory for client's family and the nursing home

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
Macomb County Bar BriefsWhich Came First: The Liber or the Page? Finding real estate records and the recording date with the new Super Index2013
Phylius PressMedicaid Secrets: MI Edition - How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs2013
Phylius PressHow to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets (4th edition)2010
A Will is not Enough in MichiganSmart Practical Things You Can Do for Control and Protection of Your Property2003

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Wayne State University Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1992
Michigan State UniversityEconomicsBA - Bachelor of Arts1989
Mount Clemens High SchoolValedictorianDiploma1985

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Oakland County Bar Association Real Property CommitteeReal estate and deed issues2015
Macomb Kennel Club membership meetingPet Trusts: "To my dog, Lucky, I leave $10,000"2012
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2010
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2010
Estate Planning MythsEstate Planning2010
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2009
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2009
Revocable Living TrustsRevocable Living Trusts2008
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2008
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2007
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2007
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2006
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2006
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2005
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2005
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2004
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2004
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2003
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2003
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2002
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2002
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2001
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2001
Medicaid Planning SeminarMedicaid Planning2000
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts2000
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts1999
Living Trust Seminars Throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne CountiesRevocable Living Trusts1998