Robert D. Hodges

Member

Office: 515-242-2465

Fax: 515-323-8565

Email: robert.hodges@brownwinick.com

  

I am member at BrownWinick and am the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Litigation Practice Group Co-Chair.  I was raised in small-town Iowa and am proud to call Iowa home. My education, training, and experiences, however, have taken me all over the United States and the world.  Examples of the experiences that influence the way I see the world and practice law include: being involved in a (non-legal) family business since childhood; owning cattle that grazed on my grandparents’ farm through law school; and deploying overseas multiple times as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army.  My unique and varied background allows me to attack legal problems from a distinctive, sophisticated, yet practical perspective. 

My Approach

Since I was involved in business and agriculture long before I became an attorney, I try to think like a businessman practicing law and not the other way around.  This outlook necessarily leads to creating plans and implementing strategies that are workable for clients.  I have seen estate plans fail because the plans were too complex for the clients to implement.  Complexity for complexity’s sake does not drive value and I strive to implement strategies that my clients understand.  On the other hand, a multi-million dollar business operation seems to warrant more than a one page will.  Simplicity that leaves out important detail is a disservice to the client and clarity of intent is a driving feature of my planning efforts.  Creating and implementing estate plans or similar strategies with the right level of complexity and flexibility is my primary mission.  Similarly, I try to understand my client’s goals and current situation then draw a straight line to their desired “end state” in the best manner possible.

The vast majority of my professional time is spent designing, implementing, or litigating estate planning documents.  As such, I am much less of a generalist and focused on the legal topics where I believe I can add value with my education, training and experience.  I have smart colleagues at BrownWinick who can assist with legal needs outside my core competencies.

More About Me

I played football at Central College and left Pella in 2003 with a B.A. in Business Management, summa cum laude; the Wall Street Journal Award for being the top business student in the Class of 2003, the Borgman Award for academic performance as a senior on the football team.  After working as a third-party liability insurance adjuster for a number of self-insured trucking firms in Dubuque, Iowa, I returned to school and earned J.D. with honors from Drake University Law School.  While I was at Drake, I was a member of Drake Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.  After being admitted to the Iowa Bar, I accepted a commission as a Judge Advocate with the United States Army.  Eventually, I deployed to Baghdad, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Port-Au-Prince, Haiti following the 2010 earthquake as part of Operation Unified Response and to southern Afghanistan as a Brigade Judge Advocate in Operation Enduring Freedom. My time in the Army provided a broad background in the practice of law and once-in-a-lifetime responsibly.  Since I knew estate planning was in my future, I returned for another year of schooling following my separation from the Army that was focused on taxation and estate planning.  I graduated with distinction from the Georgetown University Law center with a LLM in 2012. 

I am active in a number of civic and professional organization and try to use my training, experience and knowledge to further the mission of the respective organizations.  I am also a frequent speaker on trust, estate planning and business succession-related topics.  On a personal note I am married to another lawyer and my wife and I have one son.

My Specialties

  • Drafting and Implementing Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney
  • Probate and Trust Administration
  • Fiduciary Litigation
  • Nonprofits and Planned Giving

Blog Posts

Estate Planning Considerations for the New Year

January 24, 2020 It's a new year and a new decade. It's the right time to review and update your estate plan. BrownWinick’s Estate Planning Group has three key Read…

Beneficiary Designations - SAY, WHAT?!!

April 2, 2017 A majority of my working day is spent drafting and interpreting wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.  As many people know, these documents create the Read…

BrownWinick Attorney Bob Hodges Selected as a Member of the 2014-15 Leadership Iowa Class

September 19, 2014 Congratulations to Bob Hodges, an Associate at BrownWinick, for being selected as a member of the 2014-15 Association of Business and Industry Foundation's Leadership Iowa class. The goal Read…

Assure Your Land Assets

March 14, 2014 Bob Hodges, an attorney at BrownWinick, was quoted in an article title, "Assure Your Land Assets," in the March 2014 edition of Top Producer magazine. Read…

Assistant

Mary Frein

515-248-6629

Undergraduate

Central College

B.A., summa cum laude, Business Management, 2003

Legal

Drake University, Georgetown University Law

J.D., with high honors, 2007; LLM, with distinction, Taxation, 2012; awarded Certificate in Estate Planning

Admitted

Iowa, 2007

Memberships & Associations

  • Iowa State Bar Association 
    Member; Sections on: Probate, Trust & Estate Planning; Taxation
    Military Affairs Committee 
  • Iowa Trust Association
    Member
  • Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council
    Member
  • Mid-Iowa Estate & Financial Planners
    Member