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. Some 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 distinct, sophisticated and 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 way 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, and 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 graduated 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 add value to those 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

Your Estate Plan To-Do List While Social Distancing

March 20, 2020   The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event that is changing the way we think about protecting our families, health and wealth.  During this time, Read…

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 Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers List

August 15, 2019 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 24 lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers® has published their list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, Read…

BrownWinick Law Firm and Two Attorneys Listed in Chambers USA 2019 – High Net Worth Guide

July 12, 2019 BrownWinick has been ranked as a “leading law firm” in Chambers USA® 2019 – High Net Worth Guide in the area of Private Wealth Law. Two attorneys from BrownWinick were selected for inclusion in Chambers USA® 2019 as “notable practitioners” in the Private Wealth Law – Paul Carey and Robert Hodges. Wealth management in the United States is an ongoing, ever-evolving practice. BrownWinick assists clients Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

July 11, 2019 Eleven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Rebecca Brommel – Business Litigation William Brown – Tax Elizabeth Coonan – Employment and Labor Michael Dee – Business Litigation Alice Helle – Employee Benefits Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate Ann Holden Kendell – Employment and Labor James Pray – Environmental Brian Rickert – Construction Litigation Christopher Sackett – Mergers and Acquisitions Sheila Tipton – Energy and Resources Thirteen BrownWinick attorneys were Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers® List

August 16, 2018 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 27 lawyers have been included in the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the Read…

BrownWinick Law Firm and Three Attorneys Listed in Chambers USA 2018 – High Net Worth Guide

July 20, 2018 BrownWinick has been ranked as a “leading law firm” in Chambers USA® 2018 – High Net Worth Guide in the area of Private Wealth Law. Three attorneys from BrownWinick were selected for inclusion in Chambers USA® 2018 as “notable practitioners” in the Private Wealth Law: Ronni Begleiter Paul Carey Robert Hodges Wealth management in the United States is an ongoing, ever-evolving practice. BrownWinick assists Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

July 2, 2018 Twelve BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Ronni F. Begleiter – Employee Benefits Rebecca Brommel – Business Litigation William C. Brown – Tax Elizabeth A. Coonan – Employment & Labor Michael A. Dee – Business Litigation Alice E. Helle – Employee Benefits Thomas D. Johnson – Business/Corporate Ann Holden Kendell – Employment & Labor James L. Pray – Environmental Brian P. Rickert – Construction Litigation Christopher R. Sackett – Mergers Read…

BrownWinick Law Firm and Three Attorneys Listed in Chambers USA 2017 – High Net Worth Guide

September 19, 2017 BrownWinick has been ranked as a “leading law firm” in Chambers USA® 2017 – High Net Worth Guide in the area of Private Wealth Law. Three attorneys from BrownWinick were selected for inclusion in Chambers USA® 2017 as “notable practitioners” in the Private Wealth Law: Ronni Begleiter Paul Carey Robert Hodges Wealth management in the United States is an ongoing, ever-evolving practice. BrownWinick assists Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers List

August 15, 2017 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 26 lawyers have been included in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2017 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

July 17, 2017 Ten BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2017 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Ronni F. Begleiter – Employee Benefits/ERISA William C. Brown – Tax Elizabeth A. Coonan – Employment & Labor Michael A. Dee – Business Litigation Alice E. Helle – Employee Benefits Ann Holden Kendell – Employment & Labor James L. Pray – Environmental Brian P. Rickert – Construction Litigation Christopher R. Sackett – Mergers & Acquisitions Sheila K. Read…

BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2016 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

July 13, 2016 Ten BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2016 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: Ronni F. Begleiter – Employee Benefits William C. Brown – Tax Elizabeth A. Coonan – Employment & Labor Michael A. Dee – Business Litigation Alice Helle – Employee Benefits Ann Holden Kendell – Employment & Labor Brian Pingel – Intellectual Property Brian P. Rickert – Construction Litigation Christopher R. Sackett – Mergers & Acquisitions Sheila K. Tipton – Energy & Resources Nine Read…

Assistant

Mary Frein

515-248-6629

Undergraduate

Central College

B.A., summa cum laude, 2003

Graduate

Georgetown University Law Center

LLM, with distinction, Taxation; awarded Certificate in Estate Planning, 2012

Legal

Drake University Law School

J.D., with high honors, 2007

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