Kristin Abati, co-chair of Choate's Wealth Management Group, provides sophisticated tax and estate planning advice to families spanning multiple generations, helping them to meet their diverse goals. Her clients include wealthy individuals in the private equity industry and other entrepreneurs, whom she advises on all aspects of their lifetime giving and estate planning, and for whom she serves as a trustee. Her clients are citizens of the United States and other countries.
Ms. Abati is listed in Best Lawyers in America and has been named repeatedly as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Wealth Management: Ms. Abati specializes in designing creative plans that transfer wealth to younger generations with minimal or no tax costs, including, for example, by forming family limited liability companies and funding irrevocable trusts, among other strategies. She also helps her clients realize their charitable goals by forming family charitable foundations and establishing charitable split interest trusts.
Trustee: Ms. Abati serves as a Trustee for many of her clients.
- Helps clients to transfer assets from older trusts to newer trusts with modern terms, via strategy called “decanting,” that allows for improved management of trust assets.
- Created family investment company that pooled together assets from multiple generations, and provided mechanism for making discounted gifts to trusts for future descendants.
- Helped client in private equity industry to transfer carried interests and other ownership stakes to trusts for her descendants.
- Educated younger members of large family on value of compounding investment returns over long time horizon, to encourage preservation of family’s wealth by prudent management.
- Created charitable lead trust that allowed for present charitable benefits, and future non-charitable gifts to family members, at zero gift tax cost.
Publications and Presentations
Ms. Abati is widely published on the topics of decanting, grantor retained annuity trusts, insurance trust planning and other complex techniques, and speaks on estate planning and wealth management strategies throughout Massachusetts.
- “The Uniform Trust Decanting Act,” co-author, Trust & Estates, January 2016.
- "Elkins: A Double-Edged Sword?,” co-author, Trusts & Estates, February 2015.
- “Deductibility of Trust and Estate Expenses,” co-author, Trusts & Estates Magazine, July 2014.
- “Decanting Without a Statute: The Lessons of Kraft”, co-author, Trusts & Estates magazine, February 2014.
- “Wildly Successful GRATs,” co-author, Financial Advisor Magazine, January 2014.
- “Fixing Crummey Problems,” co-author, Trusts & Estates magazine, July 2012.
- “Tough Love,” quoted, Private Wealth, July 2011.
- “Changes Ahead,” co-author, Financial Advisor Magazine, December 2010.
- “Granted Retained Annuity Trusts: Tax-Efficient Estate Planning Techniques: Using GRATs to Preserve and Transfer Assets,” panelist, CLE/CPE webinar, February 2011.
Professional and Community Involvement
Education & Credentials
- University of Virginia School of Law
- JD, 2001
- Virginia Law Review
- Dartmouth College
- BA, 1998, magna cum laude