Catherine Grevers Schmidt focuses her practice on complex estate and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals and families, entrepreneurs and real estate owners, and on planning for the generation-skipping transfer tax. Through use of sophisticated techniques such as qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, dynasty trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts and limited liability companies, among others, as well as traditional wills and revocable trusts, she assists clients in minimizing the impact of estate and gift taxes on their estate plans, and in transferring family wealth to their children and grandchildren. She also has considerable experience in the administration of large estates and trusts, advising clients on private foundation matters and in representing clients in contested estate and gift tax audits. In addition to numerous audits settled at the initial and appeals levels, she has also represented clients before the U.S. Tax Court, achieving favorable settlement results and trial victories.

Catherine is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been listed as a leading lawyer for Private Wealth Law by Chambers High Net Worth. She serves on the Professional Advisors Council for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Domestic Relations Committee of Trusts & Estates magazine. She writes about estate and gift tax topics and is a frequent speaker for programs sponsored by, among others, the Estate Planning Council of New York, the New York State Bar Association, New York University School of Continuing Legal Education and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Catherine is often cited in publications, including ForbesKiplinger’sNew York Daily News and The Wall Street Journal, with respect to legal issues in trusts and estates and she has been a contributor to the New York Daily News “Money Pros” column. Catherine has been recognized, since 2013, by The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Trusts and Estates. She is also listed in New York Super Lawyers in the area of Estate Planning and Probate and is named to the publication’s Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area list. She has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer-reviewed “AV Preeminent” rating for excellence in the law and ethical conduct and is included on several local and national lists of preeminent women attorneys by such publications as LexisNexis, Avenue Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell. She is a former member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Estate Planning and a former member of the New York City Bar Association’s Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee, for which she served as chair of the Subcommittee on Portability. 

Publications

“The SLAT Trap,” Trusts & Estates, December 2021

“Falling Into the Gap of State Death Taxes,” New York Law Journal, Jan. 26, 2009

“Estate Planning for the Surviving Spouse – Part 2,” 36 Estate Planning 16, January 2009

“Estate Planning for the Surviving Spouse – Part 1,” 35 Estate Planning 3, December 2008

“Where Privacy Fails: Equal Protection and the Abortion Rights of Minors,” 68 New York University Law Review 597, 1993

Speaking Engagements

“Lifetime Transfers and the Federal Gift Tax: The Enduring Wealth Tax,” NYU Summer Institute in Taxation — Introduction to Trusts and Estates, New York, 2003-2021

“Estate Planning in a Low Interest Rate Environment: GRATs, CLATs and Sales to IDGTs,” American Heart Association 15th Annual Invitational Conference on Estate Planning and Administration, New York, April 2015

“Estate Planning, Charitable Giving and Other Considerations,” SRZ 24th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2015

Memberships

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel   
    • Fellow
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
    • Member, Professional Advisors Council
  • Trusts & Estates magazine, Domestic Relations Committee
    • Member, Advisory Board
  • New York City Bar Association, Member
    • Former Member, Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee
    • Former Chair, Subcommittee on Portability
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Member, Trusts and Estates Law Section
  • Board of the Optometric Center of New York, State College of Optometry
    • Former Member, Trusts and Estates Advisory Group

Distinctions

  • Chambers High Net Worth
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent
  • New York Super Lawyers
    • Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area

Prior Experience

  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, 1993-2014