Kristen A. Curatolo is a partner in the Trusts and Estates Practice Group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Kristen concentrates her practice on trust and estate planning and administration. Her clients include multiple generations of ultra-high net worth families, private equity fund principals, public figures and leaders in the financial industry. She advises individuals, institutions and family offices regarding the administration of complex trusts and estates. She has developed particular experience working with principals of private equity funds and venture capital firms to transfer interests in investment funds in a tax efficient manner. Kristen also regularly counsels clients on nonprofit formation (public charities and private foundations), grant-making, board fiduciary duties, governance and compliance issues.

Kristen is ranked by Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth, New York: Private Wealth Law, with an interviewee enthusing: “She is absolutely wonderful to work with. She is responsive, very knowledgeable, and thinks about situations creatively.” Another interviewee remarked: “She is a very good lawyer. She is so, so knowledgeable, so personable and so client-friendly.” Kristen is also recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in 2022. She is a contributor to The Complete Estate Planning Sourcebook (published by Wolters Kluwer) and regularly writes and speaks on estate planning topics.


Thought Leadership


Presenter, Current Developments in Estate & Gift Taxation, Strafford Publications, November 16, 2022

Presenter, Gifting Strategies: Leveraging Your Client’s Gift Tax Exemption, Strafford Publications, November 1, 2022

Presenter, To Reimburse or Not to Reimburse? Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes Offer a Solution to a Trustor’s Income Tax Woes, But Beware of the “Burn”, Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute, November 2022

Panelist, Estate Planning Misfires of the Rich and Famous 2022, New York City Bar Association Webinar, July 13, 2022 

Presenter, Structuring Incomplete Gift Non-Grantor Trusts: Key Provisions, Tax Planning, Trust Situs and More, Strafford Publications, July 12, 2022

Presenter, Hybrid 2022 May Tax Meeting, American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, May 14, 2022 

Presenter, Structuring Non-Grantor Trusts for Wealth Transfers and Income Tax Planning, Webinar, Strafford, February 8, 2022

Presenter, Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes, Connecticut Bar Association, Estate & Probate Section, February 7, 2022

Panelist, Recent Developments in Federal and NYS Tax Law Affecting Estate Planning, New York City Bar Association Webinar, November 3, 2021

Co-Presenter, Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes, 33rd Annual RPTE Virtual National CLE Conference, April 22, 2021

Gifting Strategies: Leveraging Your Client’s Gift Tax Exemption Now and Planning for 2026 (and Beyond), Webinar, Strafford, 2019

Planning at the Eleventh Hour: A Practitioner’s Checklist for Clients Near Death, Norfolk & Plymouth Estate and Business Planning Council, Randolph, Massachusetts, 2017

Planning at the Eleventh Hour: A Practitioner’s Checklist for Clients Near Death, Webinar, Penton Wealth Management, Trusts & Estates, 2016

Probate Boot Camp, National Business Institute, 2015

Digital Assets, Planning with; Bequeathing of; Disposing of; and Protecting Your Digital Assets After Your Death, Rockland County Estate Planning Council, Nyack, New York, 2014

Women, Money and Power in American Society, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton, New Jersey, 2014


Co-Author, "Help—My Child is About to Receive A Windfall!Trusts & Estates, September 2021

Co-Author, "Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes," Trusts & Estates, February 2021

Contributor, "Year in Review," Trust & Estates Magazine

Contributor, "The Complete Estate Planning Sourcebook," Wolters Kluwer

"Planning at the Eleventh Hour: Part II: Augmenting A Practitioner’s Checklist for Clients Near Death," Penton Wealth Management, Trusts & Estates, March 21, 2019

Planning at the Eleventh Hour: A Practitioner’s Checklist for Clients Near Death,” Penton Wealth Management, Trusts & Estates, May 18, 2016

“Sales to IDGTS: A Hearty Recipe for Tax Savings,” Fall 2014

“Reading Between the Lines, Putting “Personal” Back into Personal Law,” American Bar Association, Probate & Property Magazine, March 2014

“Planning for Franchisee Succession, Asset Protection,” American Bar Association, The Franchise Lawyer, Fall 2013

Press Mentions

“‘Elmo’s Song’ Case Gives Kirkland Associate Chance to Shine,” Bloomberg Law, September 13, 2017

Kirkland, NYC Charities Secure 'Sesame Street' Royalties,” Law360, August 25, 2017

Your Money: The Truth About 'Power of Attorney' Documents,” www.nj.com, July 01, 2014

Your Money: The Taxing Truth About Inheritances,” www.nj.com, April 09, 2014


Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth, New York: Private Wealth Law, Up and Coming, 2022

Recognized for Trusts & Estates in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2022 

Selected by Super Lawyers magazine as a New York Rising Star, 2021

Kirkland 2017 Pro Bono Achievements,” pages 16–17

Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Service Award for Outstanding Service, 2016–2021

Memberships & Affiliations

Member of Estate and Gift Taxation Committee, New York City Bar

Member, New York State Bar Association

Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

Member, Florida Bar Association


Admissions & Qualifications

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Florida
  • Connecticut


  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States Tax Court


  • New York University School of LawLL.M., Taxation2018
  • Rutgers School of Law at CamdenJ.D.2011

    Rutgers School of Law Award for Excellence in Trusts & Estates

    Research Editor (Executive Board), Rutgers Law Journal

  • The College of New JerseyB.A., English2008