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Photo of William Schmidt
First Western

Trust Officer & Family Wealth Advisor

Bill has extensive experience in many areas of trust and estate law. He helps clients develop and implement their estate plans and has experience preparing wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, family partnerships, charitable trusts, and charitable foundations. He also has experience with business succession planning, premarital agreements, and probate. Bill is admitted to practice law in Colorado and Texas. Prior to joining First Western Trust, he practiced law with the Denver firm of Holland & Hart.

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Getting to Know William

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Not money. Not status. Not power.  It’s the people you chose to become part of your life, and the ability to make a difference in their lives. 

If applicable, how does your involvement with the community fulfill you?
I have been blessed with health, family, financial independence, and confidence in my spiritual relationship with the creator. The largest number of people in the world are missing major parts of these benefits. From childhood, I have always been impressed with the need to contribute time, treasure and talent to not only those I personally touch but also those I cannot see, but I know exist and are being touched by others. 

Anything else you’d like to share?
A bank is viewed, now without justification, as an impersonal institution often seen as a roadblock rather than a bridge to achieving our financial objectives.  This is an important objection to using trust services to care for the financial fortunes of the next generations of a family.  Unfortunately, many trust departments have confused the importance of meeting the objectives of those who create trust relationships.  This perception of potential clients for trust services can begin to be overcome if we stop confusing ownership with stewardship. 


  • Juris Doctorate from University of Michigan Law School
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Colorado, Boulder
  • United States Air Force (Capt. USAF/Retired)
  • Former Staff Judge Advocate, Colorado Air National Guard


  • During his law practice, listed in Best Lawyers in America ®
  • During his law practice, named in Colorado Super Lawyers
  • Named “Five Star Wealth Manager” by 5280 Magazine
  • Recipient of the Denver Foundation Philanthropic Leadership Award (2004)
  • Bonfils Blood Center Foundation Leadership Award (2007)
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America
  • How to Live – and Die – with Colorado Probate, Gulf Publishing 1985
  • Author of six books on the subject of estate planning and charitable giving
  • Lecturer for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the Southwestern Legal Foundation, the Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Denver University College of Law, Southern Arizona Estate Planning Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Estate Planning Retreat, Denver Business Journal Leaders in Business Round-table, and various other professional groups.


  • Member, American, Colorado, and Denver Bar Associations
  • Founder and Past-President, Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Denver and Centennial Estate Planning Councils
  • Fellow and Past Colorado State Chair, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Chair, Board of Trustees, Bonfils Blood Center Foundation
  • Trustee, The Denver Foundation
  • Advisor, Lai and Violet Schmidt Family Fund
  • Advisor, Emergency Healthcare and Education Fund
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Goodwill Industries of Denver
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Lutheran Medical Center
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Past President, Lutheran Medical Center Foundation
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation
  • Past Member of Board of Directors, Denver Planned Giving Roundtable
  • Past President for 20 years, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Foundation
  • Former Planned Giving Advisor, National Jewish Medical and Research Center
  • Former Advisor, Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation
  • Board of Trustees, Excelsior Youth Foundation

Hear from Bill