Hello. I’m David Woods. I help business owners form, safeguard, and pass to the next generation cherished businesses. I help business owners understand their options under the law in order to create a plan that will enhance their family first lifestyle, serve their family’s needs and protect their family’s wealth. I create understandable, effective legal documents for business formation, protection from liability, and succession.
As a business owner and family man, I know the challenges of keeping my family high on my priority list. I grew up in the southeast Missouri town of Poplar Bluff with my mom, dad and younger brother. I grew up watching my parents work hard to realize their dream of opening their own insurance business. When I was in fifth grade, my parents’ dream became reality.
Nevertheless my parents always made time for the family. The entire family sat down to Mom’s home cooked dinner every night at five o’clock. We took family vacations and regular fishing trips. I learned to play piano and clarinet. I enjoyed hamming it up in dramatic roles and never missed an opportunity to perform on stage. My parents attended my piano recitals, school plays, and band concerts. When I opened my own law practice, I made certain that my business would enhance our family life rather than burden my family with worrisome liabilities.
I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with honors. While at Mizzou, attending a campus lecture, I met the young lady who would become my bride and relentless best friend. After undergraduate school, I attended and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. In the early 80s I became a proud dad.
After law school, I became the first regional public defender in Poplar Bluff for a newly created Missouri State Public Defender System. Serving the indigent accused of crimes in seven southeast Missouri counties, I represented over 6000 clients during my ten years serving as a public defender. I supervised a staff that grew to three assistant attorneys, two secretaries and one investigator. In an article on the Public Defender office, a local newspaper writer once remarked that “David gives the shirt off his back for his clients.”
With the encouragement of my family, I opened my own law office in 1993. Since then, I have represented people with various legal problems in the counties of St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren, Lincoln, Montgomery and Boone, and before the federal courts of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, (St. Louis), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.
When my wife's uncle asked me to prepare a trust for him, I had never written one. He had gone to a seminar and learned that a trust would allow him to pass his property to his children in the precise way he wanted. Sure enough, when he died about six months later, the property passed immediately, just the way he had instructed, and without a family fight. No estate taxes. No waiting for probate. No fees to a personal representative. No attorney fees. That first trust changed my life, the lives of many of my clients, and benefited my family.
After my dad recovered from a brush with cancer, my parents asked me to write a revocable trust for them. When my dad died years later, his property did not go through probate. Neither will mom's property when the time comes. The probate fees my family saved were about $79,000.00. That's not counting the federal death taxes. When my father died in 2005, we calculated the death tax saved was over $47,000.00. My brother says he considers me a hero because our family will not lose any of that $127,000 when Mom dies. Now that Dad is gone, Mom is well provided for and able to carry on their tradition of generosity. Both of my parents wanted to see their hard earned money go towards fulfilling the dreams of their grandchildren. My mom is enjoying seeing her grandchildren benefit from her and my dad’s hard work and planning.
I’ve always loved comic book heroes like Batman and Superman. Knowing that I help business owners fulfill the dreams of their children and grandchildren makes me feel like a superhero. But even more importantly, I want to help make you a hero to your family.