Personal Loss Shapes Trusts and Estates Career
Losing her mother when she was a baby and other close relatives in the years since helped shape Day Pitney Partner Katherine McAllister's career as a trusts and estates attorney. For one thing, she knows the importance of estate planning for families who have dealt with death. Second, her mother's role as a trailblazer for women in her industry influenced Katie to prioritize working in an environment that supports women and all people.
Katie works with families to carry out their goals for their wealth, and she provides counsel to families after they lose a loved one. She must not only consider the tax implications of her clients' decisions but also ensure that their values and wishes for their families are respected and translated into a plan that will serve their families for multiple generations.
Before law school, Katie worked as a paralegal in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, which led her to pursue a legal career. She credits Boston College Law School professor Ray Madoff with inspiring her to focus on trusts and estates after her clerkship with Justice Peter T. Zarella of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Katie worked as a trusts and estates associate at another Connecticut law firm before joining Day Pitney in early 2021. She was drawn to the firm by the strength of its Private Clients department, its commitment to promoting and retaining women, and its reputation of having a highly knowledgeable and collaborative workforce with the technological resources to collaborate across the firm's broad geographic reach.
Lenox Advisors Vice President Zachary Kriftcher has referred many of his clients to Katie because he has the utmost confidence in her abilities and knows she will treat his clients with respect. "Katie is polite, responsive, and diligent and always puts clients' needs first," Zach says. "She is knowledgeable and really has a desire to grow and cultivate relationships."
Katie says she strives to make clients feel confident that their wishes will be honored and their families will be financially protected after they're gone. Katie finds estate planning with young families especially rewarding. "It's the kind of estate planning that lets people sleep better at night," she adds.
Katie was born and raised in Massachusetts, where her mother worked in the banking industry and her father is a corporate attorney. Her father remarried, and Katie has two half-siblings in high school. Katie and her husband, a philosophy teacher, have two daughters of their own, ages 6 and 3. As a family, they enjoy trips to Maine in the summer, which include lots of hiking in Acadia National Park.
Growing up, Katie was cared for by French au pairs who helped Katie become a Francophile—she loves all things French and speaks the language fluently. She studied abroad in France while at Northfield Mount Hermon School and Williams College, and she spent a year teaching English in Lyon, France, before law school. Katie belongs to the Alliance Française of Greenwich, Connecticut, and the Alliance Française of Westchester, New York, and she frequently participates in French conversation groups.
It was through a French conversation group that Katie met client Gabi Coatsworth Wilson. The UK native had just dealt with a confusing and complex probate process after her husband's death, and she didn't want her family to face the same burden. During a conversation in French, Katie told Gabi about her job. "I liked her already as a person, so it made it easy to ask, 'Would you mind taking me on?'" Gabi remembers. "I like that she is low-key. She never pushes things on you and is willing to come up with solutions for any issue."
Recently, Katie graduated from the inaugural class of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel New England Fellows Institute, an education and networking program for future leaders in trusts and estates.
TRUSTS AND ESTATES
Boston College Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
Williams College, B.A., cum laude
Admissions: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York