Our Team

Cort MacBeth Smith


Cort MacBeth Smith graduated with honors from the University of Missouri—Columbia in 2003 where he studied Philosophy and Biology.  He was active on the Mizzou campus where he developed many skills as a member of the Outreach Student Recruitment Team, The Alumni Association Student Board, Summer Welcome, and the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.  

Mr. Smith obtained his law degree from the University of Missouri—Kansas City in 2007 and was admitted to the Missouri Bar in September 2007.   During law school, Mr. Smith was selected to the editorial staff of the Urban Lawyer Law Review and the recipient of the 2007 Estate Planning Symposium Prize for his research and treatise on Missouri’s Discovery of Assets statute.    

His professional organizations include the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys serving on the Missouri Chapter Board from 2012-2014, the St. Charles County Bar Association, and the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce serving as the Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Young Professional group in 2012.  

Mr. Smith and his wife, Laura, are active in St. Charles and proud to live in this historic city.  They are advocates for historic preservation and local charities, such as Community Living, Inc.  Mr. Smith has always been an avid outdoorsman going back to his days in the Boy Scouts of America with Troop 975 where he earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1994.  Today, he and Laura enjoy backpacking and float trips in southern Missouri with their dogs, Darwin and Gatsby, leading the way.    

Mr. Smith recently assumed ownership of the law firm formerly known as The Barklage Law Firm, LLC after working with the firm for over 10 years.   He looks forward to continuing his service to the St. Charles County community and surrounding areas.

Thomas John Barklage, Of Counsel


     Mr. Barklage owned The Barklage Law Firm, LLC from 2002 until 2018 at which time Cort MacBeth Smith acquired the firm changing the name to Smith Estates & Trusts, LLC.

Mr. Barklage received an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1972 and his law degree (cum laude) from St. Louis University in 1975 and has been engaged in the private practice of law since that time. A lifelong resident of St. Charles, Mr. Barklage dedicated many years to public service as an elected Member of the Missouri House of Representatives as well as serving served six years as a Member of the Missouri State Highway and Transportation Commission, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Highway Department and Highway Patrol Retirement System and Chairman of the System’s Investment Committee. 

Mr. Barklage is a Member of the Estate Planning Council of St. Louis, The Missouri Bar and the St. Charles County Bar Association. 

Mr. Barklage concentrates his practice in the areas of Wills and Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Real Estate, Conservation Easements and similar items, Corporate/Business Planning and Succession, as well as Condemnation and Eminent Domain matters 



  Our support staff currently consists of two dedicated legal assistants, with a combined experience of more than 45 years working with attorneys and serving their clients. Both staff assistants are well versed in the areas of probate, trust administration and estate planning and are dedicated to serving our clients in a courteous and professional manner. We are fortunate to have developed long term relationships with the legal assistants, enhancing the continuity and knowledge of matters of concern to you. In addition, the firm regularly employs research assistants who are knowledgeable and adept at legal research necessary to support the efforts of the attorneys and legal assistants. Our assistants are ready, willing and able to make your experience with the legal profession a comfortable and pleasant one. In addition to the attorneys, all members of the staff and other employees are subject to the firm’s privacy policy.