Jonathan M. Forster


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


Jonathan Forster, housed in Washington, D.C., maintains a nationwide law practice in BakerHostetler's Private Wealth Group. His entrepreneurial background, coupled with his life insurance and investment management history, provide him with a unique approach to managing family legacies. 

Jonathan’s occupation of 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. Forster realized the importance of having a financially integrated, proactive management approach to 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; link technology to aggregate client data and offer improved client reporting; and employ 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, benchmarking, stewardship and philanthropy -- provide a far greater platform for success. Families with direction, purpose and vision, along with leadership and execution, realize their goals.

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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 include life insurance distribution centers such as National Financial Partners, Crump and parts of the M Group, along with carriers such as Guardian, Transamerica and the AALU.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • 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)


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


  • 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)


  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia


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