Jonathan M. Forster

Partner

Washington, D.C.
T +1.301.641.8852
F +1.202.861.1783

Overview

Jonathan Forster maintains a unique nationwide law practice in BakerHostetler's Private Wealth Group and serves as the firm's Northeast Private Wealth Coordinator. His entrepreneurial background, coupled with his life insurance and investment management history, provide him with a different viewpoint to managing family legacies.

Jonathan’s approach to providing legacy management for successful families was shaped early on in his career when he began working for EF Hutton as an investment manager and life insurance professional in the 1980s. Following law school, he served as counsel to a multi-family office and its wealthiest clients, becoming intrigued by the amount of time and numerous disciplines required by families to manage their legacies, and the systematic, disciplined approach they employed. Jonathan realized the importance of having a financially integrated, proactive system to managing legacies.

As a result, Jonathan developed a four-step proprietary system, integrating multiple financial disciplines using financial analytics to identify lifestyle versus legacy capital; manage current capital risks and future exposure; map family resource allocations and tax exposure; and link technology to aggregate client data and offer improved client reporting. Jonathan employs a management process that utilizes regular oversight and, ultimately, a family summit: a full-on educational roundtable to develop best ideas and educate the next generation. This process and its four phases -- when coordinated with a clear mission and benchmarking -- provide a far greater platform for success. Families with direction, purpose and vision, along with leadership and execution, realize their goals. His practice group now uses an advanced financial technology platform to actively manage 23 family legacies.

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Jonathan's clients include successful families throughout the United States, many of whom are first-generation wealth creators, including public company executives and private company entrepreneurs. He also serves as chief tax counsel for the Association for Advance Life Underwriting (AALU), the life insurance industry's trade association. In this role, Jonathan educates the industry on tax legislation as it relates to legacy management, publishes the AALU’s newsletter and serves as an industry bellwether. Clients in this space have included life insurance distribution centers such as NFP, Crump and parts of the M Group, along with carriers such as Guardian and Transamerica.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Chambers HNW: Private Wealth Law in Washington, D.C. (2017 to 2019)
  • Chambers HNW: Private Wealth Law in the Eastern Region (2006 to 2019)
  • Chambers HNW: Life Insurance Specialist in the USA (2018 to 2019)
  • BTI Power Rankings, Team Member: "The 16 Strongest Firms for Go-To Outside Counsel Insurance Work" (2016)
  • The Washingtonian "Top Money Advisors: Estate Attorneys" (2014)
  • SmartCEO, Legal Elite: Finalist (2009, 2013)

Memberships

  • Association for Advanced Life Underwriting
    • Business Insurance and Estate Planning Committee: General Tax Counsel (2012 to Present)

Community

  • University of Maryland Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
    • Volunteer (2012 to Present)
    • Advisory Board (2017)
  • MusiCares/Grammys (2009 to 2010)
  • Terrapin Club Board: Board Member (2008 to 2011)
  • University of Maryland Athletics Campaign Cabinet: Member (2006 to 2011)
  • Hebrew Home of Greater Washington: Board Member (2002 to 2003)
  • American Heart Association (2010 to Present)

Admissions

  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

Education

  • J.D., George Mason University School of Law, 1989
  • B.S., Finance, University of Maryland, 1986