Brian D. Bixby


Boston, MA
D: 617.345.3360

“I work hard with the clients to select the appropriate course of action, be it negotiation, mediation, or litigation, and then work hard to accomplish the client’s goals.  It is a team effort.”


Brian Bixby is a partner in the firm's Private Client Group, which he chaired for 25 years, and also previously served as the head of the Fiduciary Litigation Department. His practice concentrates on all aspects of estate planning and fiduciary administration – including mediation, conciliation, probate court litigation, appeals, family law, guardianships and conservatorships, and representation of individuals and fiduciaries. He also offers trust protector services, ensuring that a trust is not adversely impacted by evolving laws and regulations. He is both an experienced litigator and negotiator, helping clients reach an agreement on a dispute either before or during litigation.

Given the breadth and depth of his experience, Brian is often called to serve as an expert witness. He is a trusted resource for clients and other attorneys and professionals, providing sophisticated advice and second opinions on pending or contemplated cases.

Fellow The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

Education & Admissions
Bar Admissions


U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. Supreme Court of Massachusetts

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Tax Court


J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1977

A.B., Brown University, 1974

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) - Accredited Estate Planner designee (2018-present)

The Best Lawyers in America©, Family Law, Litigation - Trusts & Estates, and Trusts & Estates (2010-present)

Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004-present)

National Law Journal - Litigation Trailblazer (2016)

Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004)



American Bar Association

  • Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

  • Fiduciary Litigation Committee Fellow (2007-present)

Boston Bar Association

  • Probate Committee

Boston Estate Planning Council

  • Member

Boston Probate Forum

  • Steering Committee (2007-2010)

Family Firm Institute

  • New England Chapter - Board Member

Massachusetts Bar Association

  • Eco-Challenge Task Force
  • Probate Law Section Council
  • Probate Litigation Practice Group
  • Taxation Law Section Council - Past Chair (2007-2009)
  • Fee Arbitration Board Committee

Massachusetts Family and Probate Inn of Court

  • Past President (2007-2008)

Visiting Nurses Association of Boston Foundation, VNA Care Network Foundation and VNA Private Care, Inc.

  • Board of Directors

Community Involvement

Community Involvement

XII International Congress on Family Law

  • U.S. Delegate
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

"Charging and Defending Trustee Fees in Massachusetts: What is Reasonable?" Speaker, Boston Bar Association Program, December 2018

"Probate and Trust Litigation Involving Pre-Nuptial, Post-Nuptial, and Separation Agreements," Panelist, MBA 6th Annual Probate Law Conference, November 2018

"Equity Actions: Determining Ownership Recovery of Assets," Faculty, Massachusetts Bar Association CLE Program, May 2017

"Fiduciary Removal: When to Get the Broom," Presenter, Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court Presentation, March 2017

"Equity Actions to Determine Ownership, Recover Assets," Speaker, Fourth Annual Probate Law Conference, November 2016

"Disinheriting Heirs or Advising Disinherited Heirs," Moderator, Boston Estate Planning Council June Member Round Table Breakfast, June 2014

"Fiduciary Litigation," Panelist, MCLE Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate Court, May 2014 

"Estate Planning and Divorce," Faculty, MCLE When Estate Planning and Divorce Collide, July 2013

"Estate Planning: The Cornerstone of a Successful Family Business Succession," Panelist, Northeastern University Executive Education Breakfast Program, November 2011

"The New MUPC for Paralegals," Faculty, MCLE Seminar, September 2011

Articles & Publications

Articles & Publications


"Litigating Will Contests," MCLE Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate Court, November 2016

"Basic Estate Planning for Divorce Lawyers," MCLE Divorce Law Practice Manual, September 2016

"Will Contests, Compromises, and Practical Steps to Avoid Litigation," MCLE Massachusetts Probate Manual, July 2016

"Having an Estate Plan in Place Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving," Boston Business Journal, December 2013


"Litigation Trailblazers: Brian D. Bixby," National Law Journal, December 2016


"Q&A with Brian Bixby, Probate and Trust Attorney at Burns & Levinson," Boston Citybizlist, June 2021


“For Law Firms, Newly Wealthy Startup Clients Bring in Big Business,” The American Lawyer, May 2019

"Newly Wealthy Startup Clients Means Big Business for Law Firms," Legaltech news, May 2019

"Man rescued at sea is said to have killed mom, grandpa for inheritance," The Boston Globe, July 2017

"Suffolk Probate Court has 'serious deficiencies'," The Boston Globe, February 2017

"Wrongful Death Suit Against Aaron Hernandez to Go Forward," The Boston Globe, April 2015

"Estate and Succession Planning," MYOB Radio, March 2012

Brian D. Bixby
  • Fiduciary Litigation
  • Divorce & Family
  • Family-Owned Business
  • Trusts & Estates

J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1977

A.B., Brown University, 1974



U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. Supreme Court of Massachusetts

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Tax Court

Email Confirmation

Thank you for your interest in Burns & Levinson LLP. Please be aware that unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Burns & Levinson though our web site will not be considered confidential, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Burns & Levinson. If you are not already a client of Burns & Levinson, do not include anything confidential or secret in this e-mail. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not authorized to do so.

By clicking "OK" you acknowledge that, unless you are a current client, Burns & Levinson does not have any obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you send us.