Jonathan R. Bell Partner

Jonathan R. Bell, a founding partner of Stern Tannenbaum & Bell LLP, represents clients in estate planning, administration and related dispute resolution matters, including litigation.

Mr. Bell counsels U.S. and non-U.S. high net worth individuals, families and family offices on complex estate, gift and income tax issues, and on the integration of investments with estate planning structures. Mr. Bell’s clients have included corporate and individual fiduciaries on investment and administration matters, as well as public charities and private foundations on taxation, fundraising and governance issues.

Mr. Bell has also had extensive experience with contested matters involving the validity and interpretation of wills and trusts, investment management, limitations on fiduciary powers, domicile, and estate taxation.

An alumnus of Yale College and Harvard Law School, Mr. Bell is listed in Who’s Who in America and The Best Lawyers in America, and is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

He has been consistently selected as a New York Super Lawyer®, including every year since the founding of Stern Tannenbaum & Bell LLP in 2007 through 2023.

Private Client Relationships With:
  • Bessemer Trust Company, N.A.
  • P. Morgan Trust Company
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Fiduciary Trust Company International
  • Julius Baer Investment Management
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1973
  • Yale College, B.A., 1969 (cum laude)
  • Duane Morris LLP
    • Partner, 2002-2007
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, New York
    • Partner, 1993-2001
  • Debevoise & Plimpton, New York, New York
    • Partner, 1984-1993
    • Associate, 1977- 1983
  • Nutter, McClennen & Fish, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Associate, 1973- 1977
  • New York City Ballet, 1995-2003, 2004-2008
    • Executive Committee and Chair of Legal Committee, 2001-2003
  • Studio in a School Association, 1986-present
    • Vice Chair, 2003-present
    • Secretary, 2002-2003
    • Vice President, 1991-1998
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
    • Committee on Education and the Law, 2003-2006
    • Committee on Estate and Gift Taxation, 2000-2003
    • Committee on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate's Courts, 1989-1992, former chair, 1995-1998
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Trust and Estates Law Section
    • Estate and Trust Administration Committee, former chair
    • Ad Hoc Committees on the Prudent Investor Act and the Principal and Income Act
  • New York City Ballet, Professional Advisors Committee, 1997-present (founder and co-chair)
  • Museum of Modern Art, Professional Advisory Committee, 2000-present
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, Professional Advisory Committee, 2003-present
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital, Planned Giving Advisory Council, 2006-present
  • United Way of New York City, Board of Directors, 1985-1995
  • Author, numerous articles on estate planning and administration appearing in the New York Law Journal, 1993-2002
  • “Estate Freezes — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” Wilmington Trust Conference, 1990
  • “Impact of Treasury Department Proposals on Intra-Family Income-Shifting Techniques,” Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, May- June, 1985
  • Panelist, Private Wealth Management Annual Conferences, Naples, Florida, 1997; Phoenix, Arizona, 1998; Palm Beach, Florida, 1999
  • Panelist, “GRATS — The Planning Device for the 90's?” New York University Tax Institute, New York, New York, 1994