Christina Mason’s practice includes trusts and estate, tax and estate planning law. She is also involved with private foundations and other charitable organizations. Ms. Mason currently serves as co-chair of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice group.
Ms. Mason provides the full range of estate and tax planning services for an entrepreneurial and international clientele. She counsels clients on a variety of issues ranging from the valuation of businesses and other assets, to the disposition of retirement benefits and insurance policies, to charitable giving and lifetime gifts. Ms. Mason advises on family limited partnerships, GRATs, and will and trust provisions to maximize the use of estate, gift and generation-skipping tax credits and exemptions. She also drafts and negotiates prenuptial and separation agreements, as well as represents individuals and organizations in the purchase and sale of residential real estate.
Ms. Mason administers trusts and estates (including income tax planning for distributions, valuation of assets and sales of real estate, jewelry and works of art), and the preparation of estate, gift and income tax returns. She also represents fiduciaries in contested accounting and probate proceedings, as well as fiduciaries and individuals in estate and gift tax audits before the Internal Revenue Service, addressing such issues as the valuation of art collections, closely-held businesses and other hard-to-value assets.
In addition, Ms. Mason advises foundations and other charities with respect to the tax consequences of grant programs, corporate and trust law, income and excise tax issues, and the applicability of the unrelated business income tax to investments. She counsels charities on governance issues, endowment rules and donor relations. She serves as general counsel to arts and education organizations and provides administrative services to family foundations. Ms. Mason also creates private foundations and public charities.
With nearly three decades of experience, clients appreciate Ms. Mason’s personal accessibility, intelligence, precision writing skills, acute understanding of the law, and the ability to navigate beyond complicated family dynamics. She actively listens to what her clients specifically need, and is able to gauge their priorities as a result. Whether she is focused on tax savings or a family issue that must be resolved, Ms. Mason provides solutions that work and reflect the objectives of her clients.
Represented the executor in an estate tax appeal concerning the valuation of a ground lease subject to a restrictive operating agreement.
Advised closely-held business owners on business succession and gift planning to reduce estate taxes.
Advised the U.S. executor of a foreign decedent with respect to liabilities for estate, gift and income taxes; estate taxation of partnership interests; and the transfer of property to foreign individuals.
Established offshore funds and rendered complex tax opinion letters to their trustees.
Advised the trustees of charitable trusts created by the widow of a well-known artist on trust and tax issues.
Advised a private foundation on the disposition of a major collection of musical boxes to a museum.
Represented a New York bank in judicial accounting proceedings for its common trust funds.
Advised a nonprofit film company and a cultural organization on their dissolution and winding up initiative.
Rendered tax advice to large private foundations regarding grant-making, unrelated business income tax and potential self-dealing transactions.
Represented individuals in an income tax protest of the denial of a charitable deduction for a façade easement.
Requested a private ruling from the IRS on the effect of the U.S.-France Estate Tax Treaty on a generation-skipping trust subject to new French inheritance taxes.
Set up an international U.S. affiliate of a U.K.-based organization for social values and international relief.
Oversaw the decanting of family trusts to multiple new trusts for the purposes of removing non-New York-situs assets and income to a tax-free jurisdiction.
Represented the trustee in contested accounting proceedings pursued by an expatriate Cuban-American family.
Memberships & Associations
Association of the Bar of the City of New York
New York State Bar Association, Trust and Estates Section
E.H.A. Foundation, director and secretary
The Center for Arts Education, Inc., director, secretary and treasurer
The Kaufman Music Center, director and treasurer
Honors & Awards
The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Trusts and Estates, 2013-2017.
Listed in New York "Super Lawyers," 2007, 2009-2012 and 2014-2016.