Kristen M. Lewis is Counsel in the Tax Practice at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
She has extensive experience in estate planning and wealth protection, “special needs trusts,” trust and estate planning and administration, guardianships, fiduciary matters, trusts for pets, and charitable giving techniques.
Ms. Lewis is a nationally recognized expert on Special Needs Trust planning for persons challenged by disabilities, and is a frequent speaker and author on this topic. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and an active member of the Special Needs Alliance, the Academy of Special Needs Planners, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the American Bar Association, the New York Bar Association Elder Law Section, the State Bar of Georgia Fiduciary Law Section, and the Georgia Planned Giving Council. She is a former Co-Chair of the Long-Term Care, Medicaid and Special Needs Trusts Committee of the Elder Law, Disability Planning and Bioethics Group of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the ABA.
Ms. Lewis received her B.A. degree in French and political science, with highest honors, from Wellesley College in 1981. She earned her J.D. degree from Cornell Law School in 1984. She is admitted to practice law in both New York and Georgia. Since 2012, Ms. Lewis has been selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers in Estate Planning and Probate. She was also named one of the Best Lawyers in America® 2013 in Trusts and Estates.
Ms. Lewis currently chairs the Board of Georgia Community Support & Solutions and is a member of the Board of the Center for the Visually Impaired, both of which serve persons with disabilities and their families, and is a Trustee of Eagle Ranch, a non-profit that works to unify families. She also is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. and a former Trustee of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. She serves as a volunteer trainer for Canine Assistants, which raises and trains certified service dogs for recipients with disabilities. She is an active member of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, has served as an annulment Case Sponsor with the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, and is a member of the Serra Club of Atlanta, which supports religious vocations.
Ms. Lewis has co-authored an article entitled, “Top 15 Tips for Estate Planners When Planning for Special Needs,” published in Probate & Property, Volume 24, Number 2, March/April 2010, which won the magazine’s 2010 Excellence in Writing Award for “Best Overall Article – Trusts & Estates.” Her paper on “Planning for Beneficiaries with Special Needs” was included in the Fourth Quarter 2012 edition of the Journal of Estate & Tax Planning published by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, and presented at the Southern Federal Tax Institute in October 2012. She also co-presented with Emory Law School Professor Jeffrey Pennell for a 2012 ALI-CLE program entitled “Special Needs Trusts: Issues for Estate Planners in Drafting First-Party and Third-Party SNTs.”
She most recently authored an article entitled “The Crime of the 21st Century: Financial Abuse of Elders,” which was published in Probate & Property, Volume 28, Number 4, July/August 2014.
Girls Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc.
Wellesley College Alumnae Association
American College Trust & Estate Counsel, Fellow
“Issues Concerning Special Need Individuals with Guests Kathy Keeley, Kristen Lewis and Fontaine Lee on Wealth Matters Radio Show,” Gwinnett Business Radio, January 28, 2015.
“Canine Assistants helps pair dog, girl,” Milton Herald, June 1, 2011.
“Wells Fargo Canine Assistants,” Fulton County Daily Report, May 27, 2011.
“Lawyer gives Wells Fargo trust some bite,” Fulton County Daily Report, April 23, 2010.
Top 15 Tips for Estate Planners When Planning for Special Needs, Probate & Property, Volume 24, Number 2, March/April 2010.