David R. Hodgman

As a junior lawyer, Dave Hodgman knew he wanted his practice to involve complex issues of taxation.
AFS David Hodgman

As a junior lawyer, Dave Hodgman knew he wanted his practice to involve complex issues of taxation. A trusts and estates practice offered this variety, but also required knowledge of many other legal areas including fiduciary law, real estate, corporate law and litigation.

When Dave started practice, most young lawyers had to try their hands at a wide range of disciplines, and doing so gave him a broad background in these and related areas. Over the years he has concentrated in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust litigation, private companies and charitable foundations.

Clients often call upon Dave in potential conflict situations due to his non-confrontational manner and ability to find creative solutions. His 40 years of experience afford a broad perspective which helps him identify compromise solutions, and his collegial approach minimizes the risk of litigation.

Dave works with many corporate fiduciaries with regard to risk management and complex trust administration. He has represented numerous corporate and individual fiduciaries with respect tax and non-tax matters including fiduciary liability litigation.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications

  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
  • Chicago Bar Association, Probate Practice — Legislative Committee, Former Chair
  • Chicago Estate Planning Council
  • Estate Planning magazine, Member of the Editorial Board
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Evanston Parks Foundation, President
  • Evanston Recreation Board, Former President

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


  • “State Court Upholds Mandatory Arbitration of Trust Disputes,” Estate Planning (Jan. 2014)
  • “IDGT On Steroids – Current Conditions Strengthen Benefits,” Estate Planning (Jul. 2011)
  • “Designating the Application of Another State’s Laws in a Trust,” (co-author) The Practical Practitioner, Estate Planning, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Apr. 2011)
  • “Solutions for Cash Flow Problems of a GRAT,” Estate Planning (Nov. 2010)
  • “Non-Qualified Charitable Trusts,” (co-author) Trusts & Estates: Charitable Giving Supplement (Oct. 2010)
  • “Scratching Your Head Over 2010 Estate Plans?,” Trusts & Estates (Aug. 2010)
  • “Terminating a NIMCRUT: What Are the Tax Consequences and Other Issues?” Estate Planning (Oct. 2009)
  • “Using a Contract to Make A Will to Protect Children's Inheritance,” Estate Planning (Sep. 2009)
  • “Planning with Grantor Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts,” Estate Planning (Aug. 2006)
  • “The Kindest Cut of All — Proposed Regulations For Making Qualified GST Severances,” Estate Planning (Mar. 2005)
  • “Practical Solutions for PHCs and C Corporation Investment Companies,” Estate Planning (Sep. 2004)
  • “Judicial Reformation of Trusts: The Last Chance to Change a Trust,” Trusts & Investments (Nov./Dec. 2003)
  • “IRS Rulings Provide Guidance on Early Termination of CRUT's,” Estate Planning (Jan. 2003)
  • “Private Foundations: Maintaining Donor Control,” Estate Planning Studies, Harris Bank (Apr. 2002)
  • “Carryover Basis: Planning and Drafting Issue,” Estate Planning (Dec. 2001)
  • “Judicial Reformation of Trusts — The Drafting Tool of Last Resort,” Estate Planning (Jun. 2001)
  • “Can Incentive Trust Encourage Children to Behave Responsibly?” Estate Planning (Dec. 2000)
  • “New Proposed Regulations Explain Permitted Changes to GST Grandfathered Trusts,” Estate Planning (Mar./Apr. 2000)
  • “Final Regulations Offer Guidance and Opportunities for CRTs,” Estate Planning (May 1999)
  • “Designing Private Foundations — Avoid the Cookie-Cutter Approach” Estate Planning (Dec. 1998)
  • “Drafting for the Marital Deduction in Light of the New Family-Owned Business Exclusion,” Estate Planning (Jun. 1998)
  • “Drafting Flexible Irrevocable Trusts,” Estate Planning (Jun. 1996)
  • “The ‘Double-Skip’ Trust — A Valuable GST Tax Planning Tool,” Estate Planning (Sep./Oct. 1995)
  • “Qualified Personal Residence Trusts Yield Tax Savings,” Estate Planning (Jul./Aug. 1995)
  • “Analyzing GRATS: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?” Trusts and Estates (May 1995)
  • “Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts and S Corporation Stock,” Trusts and Estates (Dec. 1993)
  • “Fiduciary Problems with Insurance Trusts,” ACTEC Notes (Winter 1992)


Dave is a frequent speaker and member of the planning committees for numerous seminars conducted by groups, such as the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the Chicago Bar Association, and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in the areas of probate and estate planning.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2007-2010, 2012-2024)
  • Chambers High Net Worth – Private Wealth Law, Illinois (2016, 2018-2020); Private Wealth Law: Central Region, USA (2016, 2018)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2007-2021)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2006-2009, 2011-2020)
  • Chambers USA – Wealth Management: Central Region, Nationwide (2010-2016); Wealth Management, Illinois (2010-2012)
  • Lawyer of the Year – Chicago Litigation – Trusts & Estates, Best Lawyers in America (2016)
  • Top 10 Trust, Will & Estate Lawyers, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyer’s Network (2013)
  • Top 100 Consumer Lawyers, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyer’s Network (2013)
  • Schiff Hardin Partner David R. Hodgman Honored in Worth Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Attorneys’ Issue
  • Worth Magazine’s Top 100 Attorneys List Honors Schiff Hardin LLP Partner David R. Hodgman
  • Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006)
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC (1989)
  • Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 1989)