Kim M. Smith is Of Counsel and handles guardianships for the firm. She aims to provide her clients with practical advice that they can use to plan for the future or decide on health care options available for themselves or their loved ones. For some individuals‚ legal protection by the appointment of a Guardian is necessary in order to protect them from harm. The need for a Guardian often occurs when an individual is either born with a psychological disorder such as severe Autism or Downes Syndrome or has suffered from a traumatic illness such as a stroke or severe dementia, rendering them incapacitated. If the incapacitated person has not planned properly by executing directives, such as a health care proxy or power of attorney, then they often are left with no one in place with the legal authority to assist them. A Guardianship is a legal arrangement that places an individual under the supervision and/or care of a guardian. The Guardian provides for the incapacitated person and accounts to the Court with regard to their actions. A guardian is typically a family member‚ friend‚ or fiduciary appointed by the court for an individual who can no longer make safe and sound decisions about his or her own person or property or a person who is prone to fraud or undue external influence. While a guardianship does protect an individual, great consideration and investigation must take place prior to the appointment of a guardian as it can significantly impinge upon the rights of that individual.
As a member of numerous professional organizations, Kim is actively involved in the legal community. She is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association, where she served as President from 2011 to 2012.
She currently serves as a delegate representing Suffolk County in the New York State Women’s Bar Association and is serving as Co-Chair of its Elder Law and Estate Planning Committee. She also serves as an executive board member of the Estate Planning Council of Suffolk County and as a board member of United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. She is on the Alumni Council for Touro Law School, her alma mater.