David Malson has more than 36 years of experience in estate planning for high net worth clients; business succession planning for owners of privately owned companies; and the representation of dentists, orthodontists and other doctors regarding practice purchases and sales, general business advice and dispute resolution.
David also serves as outside general counsel for privately and publicly held companies.
David works on estate plans ranging in size from moderate to extensive. Typical projects involve complex planning for families with substantial net worth, owners of privately held agricultural businesses and doctors. David works with clients to identify planning goals, options for achieving their goals, and action steps post-execution of documents to achieve the planning goals. Client needs differ from family to family, and solutions for clients can only be determined after having proper discussions over time to develop and implement the plan, along with defined projects, scopes and timetables, deliverables and pre-planned budgets.
Business Succession Planning
David helps business owners to develop effective succession plans to transfer their ownership interests and monetize the same. He talks with clients to determine what their goals are and counsels them on multiple succession planning options, including sales to third parties, sales to family members and key employees, gifts of ownership positions, and combinations of both sales and gifts strategies.
David also works closely with business owners to integrate their personal estate plan with their business succession plan. Many business owners have more than half of their total family net worth tied up in the equity of their privately owned company and company real estate. Each family’s financial goals also must address tax planning, including estate taxes, gift taxes, income taxes and capital gains taxes. Family dynamics (children involved in the family business, children who are not involved in the family business, the ability of the company to transition from one generation to the next, etc.) are variables that require customization for each business owner. David has worked with a wide variety of owners and executives of privately owned companies, including companies involved in manufacturing, agriculture, retail, real estate development, the service industry, technology and international sales.
Dentists, Orthodontists and Health Care Practice Entities
David has worked broadly with doctors and their practice entities. He has assisted doctors with regard to forming, buying and selling practice entities, as well as with running practice entities. David has worked with a variety of doctors and practice fields, but has focused much of his professional representation on dentists, orthodontists and other dental specialties. At any given time, David will be working on a dozen or more dental transactions and projects; he works with recent graduates seeking their first jobs and practice purchase opportunities, as well as seasoned doctors looking to implement a succession plan leading toward retirement or an outright sale of a practice.
Moreover, David often works on matters referred to him by CPAs, bankers, attorneys and doctors involving disputes arising between doctor partners, particularly with regard to practice governance, practice decisions and allocation of income from the practice.
Outside General Counsel
Over the course of David’s career, he has worked as outside general counsel for owners of privately owned companies ranging in size from $10 million to more than $1 billion, and for select publicly traded companies, ranging in size from $500 million to $5 billion. In the role of outside general counsel, David serves as a trusted adviser and brings together firm resources and resources outside of the firm for the company’s benefit.
David actively presents and speaks on topics in his practice areas, including to universities and their students on doctor and practice entity matters, to nonprofit and private client service organizations on estate planning, and to business organizations on business succession planning.
Professional and Community Involvement
Member, State Bar of Michigan, Corporate Section
Member, State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section
Member, State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section
Former board Vice Chair, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
Advisor, Grand Rapids Diocese Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education
Former member, Catholic Charities of West Michigan Planned Giving Advisory Council
Former board member, Kent County Literacy Council
Former board member, Kids Against Hunger
Member, Professional Advisors Board, Fremont Area Community Foundation
Business Today Top 10 Trailblazing Private Wealth Law Lawyers in Michigan, 2023
Grand Rapids Magazine Top Lawyers, 2023
The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2024
Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Law, Private Wealth Law, 2021-2023
Martindale-Hubbell, AV rated, 20+ years