David J. Backer


David Backer is Drummond Woodsum’s Practice Group Leader for Trust and Estate Planning. His practice includes trust and estate planning and administration. He is an elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  David serves as Chair of Maine's Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission, charged with conducting a continuing study of the probate and trust laws in Maine and making recommendations to the Legislature for improvements in Maine's probate and trust laws.  In addition, David has been included in the Best Lawyers in America each year since 2007 in the category of Trusts and Estates.

David is a frequent speaker to attorneys, accountants and financial professionals on various trust, estate and tax planning topics. Recent Professional Presentations, including his most recent 2013 Estate Planning Year in Review.


  • Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, J.D., 1977
  • University of Texas at Austin, B.A., with high honors Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, 1974

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Maine
  • Indiana


  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Former probate court commissioner
  • WealthCounsel, a national collaborative of trust and estate planning attorneys, Founding Member
  • Maine Estate Planning Council, Member
  • Maine State Bar Association Committees that reviewed and promoted the adoption of Maine’s versions of the Uniform Principal and Income Act and the Uniform Trust Code., Member
  • Maine's Probate and Trust Law Advisory Committee, Chair
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow

Community/Public Service

  • Maine's Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission
    Appointed member (2010 - current); Chair (2010 - current)
  • Board of Directors, USA Canoe/Kayak, the United States Olympic Committee’s national governing body for the sports of whitewater slalom and flat water sprint canoe and kayak
    Appointed member (2009 - 2011); Board Chair (2009 – 2011)
  • Cape Elizabeth Town Council
    Elected Member (2003 – 2006); Finance Chairman (2005); Chairman (2006), re-elected (2006-2009)
  • Cape Elizabeth Town Zoning Board of Appeals
    Member (1999-2003); Chairman (2000-2003)
  • Town of Cape Elizabeth, Thomas Memorial Library Foundation
    Incorporator (2004); member, Board of Directors (2004-2008)
  • Institute for Civic Leadership’s Collaborative Leadership Intensive
    Member, Mu class (2004 – 2005)
  • TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K, Inc.
    Board of Directors (2001 - current)
  • Butler University, College of Business, graduate school Masters of Business Administration program
    Adjunct Professor of business law (1995-1997)
  • Board of Directors, USA Triathlon, the United States Olympic Committee's national governing body for the sport of triathlon in Colorado Springs
    Elected member (1988-2004); President (1990-1992); and legal counsel
  • United States Olympic Committee, USA Triathlon’s Athlete Support Committee
    Rpresentative (1996-2000)


  • Estate Planning Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) (2015)
  • New England Super Lawyers, Estate Planning & Probate (2008-2014)
  • Best Lawyers USA, Trusts and Estates (2008-2016)
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent




  • Ascertainable Standards: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
    Presenter, Maine State Bar Association, Elder Law Institute - 2012 - PRACPRO, Webinar, September 3, 2013
  • Multi-Generational Ownership & Planning for Family Owned Properties in Maine
    Co-Presenter, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Land Conservation Conference 2012, Topsham, ME, April 28, 2012
  • Estate Planning
    Panelist, Maine Bankers Association, Trust and Wealth Management Conference, Portland, ME, May 4, 2011
  • Estate Planning Essentials for Financial Planners
    Presenter, Financial Planning Association of Northern New England, October 2008
  • Beneficiary Controlled Trusts and Trust Protectors
    Presenter, Maine State Bar Association, Elder Law and Estate Planning Institute, September 2007
  • Drafting Options Under the Maine Uniform Trust Code
    Presenter, Maine State Bar Association (MSBA), MSBA Elder Law and Estate Planning Institute, September 1, 2007
  • Marital Deduction Planning in a Decoupled State
    Presenter, Husson University, Annual Frank M. Carter Tax Institute, Bangor, ME, December 2006
  • The Complete Trust Course
    Presenter, PESI, Seminar, Portland and Bangor, ME, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Implementing the Maine Uniform Trust Code
    Presenter, Maine Bankers Association, Annual Convention, May 2005
  • Uniform Trust Code Overview for the Real Estate Practitioner
    Presenter, Maine State Bar Association, Real Estate Planning Symposium, March 2005