Edward J. Beckwith

Partner

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1646  |  F 202.861.1783

Ed Beckwith is nationally recognized for his skill and commitment as counsel to high net worth families and charities across the country. He serves as the national leader of BakerHostetler's Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving practice. Ed’s experience includes the legal and administrative specialties required to establish and successfully guide the operations of charitable and educational organizations, healthcare institutions, and trade associations. He advises families, family offices, and their professionals with respect to the tax-efficient accumulation, management, and distribution of their personal wealth. His advice is often sought with respect to the governance and "best practices" of such organizations and the maintenance of their tax-exempt status, as well as the tax and practical aspects of contributions and other financial support programs. A significant aspect of Ed's practice involves the application of the tax laws to family and business financial arrangements, including the preparation of related documents to conserve and transfer wealth, the administration of such arrangements, and the representation of clients before legislative, judicial and regulatory branches of government at all levels.

For his entire professional career, Ed has lectured throughout the United States and has written extensively, including articles and speeches for the American Law Institute and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He frequently chairs continuing education programs for private wealth professionals and has been an adjunct tax professor at the Georgetown University Law Center for 29 years, where he currently teaches and coordinates a graduate-level certificate program in Advanced Estate and Charitable Planning.

Select Experience

  • As a family legacy planner, Ed is frequently retained to evaluate and update existing plans, documents, and related arrangements, particularly when a potential client or client's family office or team of advisors no longer feel they have an adequate grasp of what is in place or what they are required to do to ensure that a current plan is successful.
  • Ed serves as the primary legal counsel to multi-generational families. He provides continual advice associated with all aspects of a family's overall success including: business structures and business succession planning; executive compensation and retirement planning; the avoidance and defense of tax controversies; fiduciary representation and defense for both individual and corporate fiduciaries; estate and trust administration and settlement; and family law matters, including pre-marriage planning. His advice with respect to trust administration includes federal and state tax planning, the selection of the proper location for the administration of a given trust, modifying and fixing existing trusts and all manner of related regulatory issues.
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Experience

  • As a family legacy planner, Ed is frequently retained to evaluate and update existing plans, documents, and related arrangements, particularly when a potential client or client's family office or team of advisors no longer feel they have an adequate grasp of what is in place or what they are required to do to ensure that a current plan is successful.
  • Ed serves as the primary legal counsel to multi-generational families. He provides continual advice associated with all aspects of a family's overall success including: business structures and business succession planning; executive compensation and retirement planning; the avoidance and defense of tax controversies; fiduciary representation and defense for both individual and corporate fiduciaries; estate and trust administration and settlement; and family law matters, including pre-marriage planning. His advice with respect to trust administration includes federal and state tax planning, the selection of the proper location for the administration of a given trust, modifying and fixing existing trusts and all manner of related regulatory issues.
  • Ed often serves as a family's eyes, ears, and voice in Washington. Clients at the highest levels, their families, and their business interests often need representation to address the Washington regulatory and legislative environment. A client's regulatory concerns may be tax-oriented but frequently they also involve securities regulation, multiple Federal agencies, the regulation of international trade or political campaign activities, or even white collar investigations and prosecutions.
  • Ed provides common sense advice in all aspects of philanthropy and the creation and management of charitable organizations. He designs structures suited to a given client's planning needs and charitable goals which do not rely on the risky or doubtful charitable ventures often marketed to wealthy families.

Recognitions

  • Beckwith, Edward JChambers USA: Wealth Management in the Eastern Region (2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America© (1999 to present)
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc, Aiken SC
    • Washington, D.C.: Litigation–Trusts & Estates
    • Washington, D.C.: Non-Profit/Charities Law
    • Washington, D.C.: Tax Law
    • Washington, D.C.: Trusts and Estates
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Expert Guide’s Guide to the World’s Leading Trust & Estate Practitioners
  • The Washingtonian "2013 to 2014 Top Lawyers: Trusts and Estates"
  • Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" (2007 to 2014)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • American Law Institute: Life Member
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel: Fellow with services as:
    • A Regent of the College
    • State Chair, District of Columbia
    • Philanthropy Study Committee: Chair
    • Committee on Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations: Chair
    • ACTEC Foundation: Past President
  • Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council

Community

  • Jewish Federation of North America
    • Senior Advisory Council
    • National Professional Advisory Council
  • Pennsylvania State University
    • Alumni Association
    • Giving Advisory Council
  • Temple Rodef Shalom – Falls Church, Virginia

Services

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1975
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1979
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1982
  • District of Columbia, 1975

Education

  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 1983
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1974
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1971