Hanson S. Reynolds Highlights


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Hanson S. Reynolds




Tel: 617-951-1134



University of Michigan Law School

  • J.D.,1961

Harvard College

  • B.A., 1954

Military Service

  • Pilot, USAF, 1954-57

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York, 1961
  • Massachusetts, 1967
  • U.S. District Courts, Massachusetts, Eastern and Southern New York
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal, First and Second Circuits
  • U.S. Tax Court

Practice Focus

Hanson is a “compleat” trusts and estates lawyer, with training in estate and trust planning, administration, investment, accounting and all aspects of estate and fiduciary income taxes. In more recent years, his focus has been on fiduciary litigation and service as an expert witness in complex cases.

Notable Experience

Hanson’s trial practice includes will contests, trust contests, guardianship proceedings, complaints for instructions, investment disputes, sophisticated tax disputes and appeals. In fiscal year 2005-06, he won three of the most important cases in his area before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court. Already cited in Probate and Family Court and Appeals Court, decisions, the case of Rempelakis vs. Russell, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 557 (2006) set an important precedent in undue influence cases.

Hanson represents individuals and institutions in his fiduciary practice, and has served as an expert witness in trust litigation in Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin.


Hanson joined Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster in 1996.

He was an associate and partner at Foley, Hoag & Eliot in Boston from 1967-1996.

He was an associate at Mudge, Stern, Baldwin & Todd in New York from 1961-1967.

Hanson has served as Chair of both the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Association Trust and Estate Committees.

He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1977, and has served as Chair of the Massachusetts delegation, founding Chair of the Fiduciary Litigation Committee, a member of the Board of Regents and President of the College in 1999-2000.

Hanson has served on the faculties of MCLE, ALI-ABA, the Federal Tax Institute, the Miami Institute on Estate Planning, ACTEC and the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations.

Community Service

  • Hanson was a member and Chair of the Standing Committee of the First Parish in Weston in the 1970’s.
  • He was a member of the Weston School Committee from 1976 to 1982 and Chair from 1980-82.
  • Hanson served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Foundation from 1995 to 2005 and was Vice Chair of the Board from 2002 to 2005. He was a member of the Foundation’s Investment committee throughout his term on the Board and served as its Chair from 2002 to 2005.


Hanson has hiked and fished since childhood. He became an Adirondack Mountain 46’er in 2001, and climbed Mt. Kenya in July, 2006. 

An inveterate reader and crossword puzzler, he is uncommonly fond of chamber music and can usually be found at Jordan Hall on the first Monday of every month. 

On winter weekends, his habitat is the Bright Hockey Center in Allston.



He was the founding co-editor with the late Joseph P. Warner of The Massachusetts Probate Manual in 1981. Now in its seventh edition, the Manual is considered one of the leading guides and treatises in the field.

Two recent publications of Hanson’s are Attorneys’ Fees in Trust and Estate Matters, ALI-ABA, Sophisticated Estate Planning, September, 2005; and Investment of Retirement Funds for Professionals, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fall Meeting, October, 2005.

Honors and Awards

  • Listed as a Best Lawyer in America for over 25 years