Jonathan Ackerman

Jonathan Ackerman

Law Office of Jonathan Ackerman LLC

Recognized since 2013

Owings Mills, Maryland

Practice Areas

Nonprofit / Charities Law

Trusts and Estates

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Nonprofit / Charities Law
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For the past 30 years, Jonathan has developed considerable experience in the areas of charitable gift planning, estate planning and estate administration, tax-exempt organizations, federal and state taxation, IRS practice and procedure, real estate, and business formations and transactions.

Charities and Charitable Gift Planning - Jonathan represents donors and tax-exempt organizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia, but he also represents individuals, families, and charitable organizations on a national basis for federal tax matters. His advice is often sought by families (and their advisors) who desire to integrate philanthropy into their estate planning, as well as assisting charities with respect to contributions and other funding opportunities. Jonathan also represents these clients regarding legislative and regulatory tax matters at all levels of federal and state government.

Jonathan represents long established tax-exempt organizations regarding their governance, compliance and funding issues, but he also assists individuals and families in structuring and creating charitable organizations to meet their own personal estate and philanthropic planning goals. He also has extensive experience in creating, reforming and terminating a variety of charitable remainder and lead trusts.

Estate Planning and Administration - Jonathan has assisted families in structuring their estate plans for federal and state tax and non-tax purposes, including the creation of Wills, trusts, economic powers of attorney and heath care directives. He has also assisted families in dealing with the estate administration process when a family member has passed, including the filing of all necessary documents with the relevant County Register of Wills, the filing of relevant Maryland and federal estate tax returns, when needed, and the final distribution of an Estate’s assets to its beneficiaries.

Business Transactions - He has assisted clients in financing, and other asset and stock purchase transactions, as well as forming a variety of business entities. He has also prepared buy-sell or shareholder’s agreements between corporate shareholders, partners of a partnership, and members of a limited liability company.

Speaker & Author – He is a frequent speaker on the topics of charitable gift planning and tax-exempt organizations and has published articles in The Journal of Gift Planning, the Planned Giving Design Center, Planned Giving Today, Charitable Gift Planning News, the American Bankers Association Journal, the Southeast Regional Wealth Management Magazine, and the Maryland State Bar Journal.

Volunteer Activities – Jonathan was the 2002 President of the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG - now known as the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP)) and was a member of the NCPG Board of Directors. He was Chair of the 2000 NCPG Conference Committee and served on NCPG's Government Relations Committee. Jonathan recently served on the PPP Board of Directors and, at that time, was a Co-Government Relations Advisor to the Board. Locally, he was a President and Director of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council and served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics and Accountability in the Nonprofit Sector for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations. He has worked extensively on a pro bono and volunteer basis with various charities.

GetGoodGovernance – Jonathan launched, which is dedicated to helping charities and other nonprofits help themselves. GetGoodGovernance offers an efficient governance policy production and implementation process at a reasonable price, and currently has 4 Policy Packages which are easily customizable, through a secure online portal, to meet the individual needs of small, mid-sized and large nonprofits. Jonathan also launched specifically for Maryland nonprofits and for District of Columbia nonprofits. GetGoodGovernance also offers a Legal Compliance Review component to certain nonprofits.

He has worked extensively on a pro bono and volunteer basis with various charities. Jonathan is also a member of the American Bar and Maryland State Bar Associations, Taxation and Real Property, Probate and Trust sections, and attended the University of Maryland, the University of Baltimore School of Law, and then obtained his Master of Laws in Taxation at Georgetown University Law Center.

Representative Client Matters:

Tax-Exempt Organizations -

Various Tax-Exempt Organizations – assisted with creating, funding and obtaining favorable determination letters from the IRS with regard to a variety of tax-exempt organizations, including a variety of publicly supported organizations, a Type-I Supporting Organization, private operating foundation, private foundation structured in both a corporate or trust form, and a trade association

Successfully Gaining Retroactive Reinstatement – assisted a variety of charitable organizations gain retroactive reinstatement of their tax-exempt status, when such status was revoked to due to a failure to file their necessary informational returns

Termination of Private Foundation and Supporting Organization – assisted with the termination of various charitable organizations, including the preparation of final Board resolutions, filing necessary documents with the State of Maryland, assisting the Board of Directors in making final distributions, and analyzing any tax issues associated with such a termination

Analysis of Type III Supporting Organizations (SO) - assisted with audits of Type III SOs, analyzed the structure of existing Type III SOs taking into account the new rules relating to them, successfully gained Type III SO status after the recent changes in the law, and analyzed the tax issues and successfully terminated an SO

International Charities - created a US umbrella public charity and the structure of its international affiliates in UK, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and Israel, and created various US 'Friends of' Organizations

Real Property Tax Exemption – successfully argued for a real property tax exemption for a charity, and researched, analyzed and assisted in a Maryland Tax court case for the successful appeal of the property tax exemption on behalf of a charitable organization

Private Letter Ruling - obtained a favorable private letter ruling relating to the tax issues associated with the split-up of a private family foundation

Tax Penalties – successfully abated the maximum civil failure to file penalty for the Form 990 for a public charity, even after previous unsuccessful attempts

Advocacy Activities by a Private Foundation – analyzed the rules relating to funding by a private foundation of a public charity which conducts advocacy activities

Corporate Scholarship Program – created a private foundation to conduct a scholarship program for the benefit of employees, and their children, of a business corporation

Endowment Fund Creation – created all necessary documents to create an Endowment Fund, including Endowment Policies, Investment and Spending Policies and Donor Agreements

Endowments and Gift Agreements – Prepared, reviewed, negotiated and finalized a variety of Gift Agreements for donors and for charities, and researched and analyzed UMIFA and UPMIFA and the implications of a charity’s handling of an endowment in the resolution of a potential dispute in that regard

Gift Acceptance Policies – created in-depth Gift Acceptance Policies, including checklists for different types of contributed assets

Cy Pres Petition – prepared, filed and received a Court Order clarifying and affirming the use by a charitable organization of existing endowed funds

Pledge Agreements – prepared and reviewed legally binding Pledge Agreements for both donors and charitable organizations

To View Representative Client Matters for Estate Planning & Probate, Charitable Gift Planning, & Business Transactions -

Contact & Links


  • Six Park Center Court, Suite 102
    Owings Mills, MD 21117-5603


  • University of Baltimore , J.D., graduated 1983

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia, The District of Columbia Bar


  • Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics & Accountability in the Nonprofit Sector of the Maryland Association of Nonprofits Organizations - Past Member
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Chesapeake Planned Giving Council - Member
  • Estate & Gift Tax Study Group of the MSBA - Member
  • Maryland State Bar Association - Member
  • National Committee on Planned Giving - Past President
  • Partnership for Philanthropic Planning - Member
  • Planned Giving Design Center - Past Technical Writer
  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the ABA - Member
  • Taxation Section of the ABA - Member

State Clerkships

  • Maryland - Trial Courts

Law Office of Jonathan Ackerman LLC
Headquarters: Owings Mills, Maryland

1 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

Best Law Firms Badge
Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Nonprofit / Charities Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Nonprofit / Charities Law, Baltimore (2021)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Nonprofit / Charities Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Special Focus

  • Charitable Gift Planning
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Corporate
  • Estate Planning
  • Family and Business Planning
  • Nonprofit Organizations and Charitable Giving
  • Private Foundations, Supporting Organizations, and Donor-Advised Funds
  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Tax-Exempt Organization
  • Wills

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