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Melissa E. Sydney


(617) 218-2031 | | PDFPrint Bio

Melissa advises high net worth individuals and families on estate planning and estate administration matters both in the United States and internationally. She specializes in helping clients with tax-efficient estate planning, multigenerational wealth transfers, business succession planning, charitable planning, gift and income tax planning, nuptial agreements and general probate and estate administration.

Prior to joining the firm Melissa practiced law at Burns & Levinson, in Boston, at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, in Boston and Providence, and at Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer, in Newton. She is fluent in French, and proficient in Hebrew and American Sign Language.

Presentations and Lectures

  • Boston Bar Association CLE, “Trusts & Estates Year in Review,” June 2016
  • Boston Bar Association, “Trusts & Estates Mid-Year Review,” January 2016
  • Boston Bar Association, “Basic Estate Planning Documents,” December 2015
  • Boston Bar Association CLE, “Trusts & Estates Year in Review,” June 2015
  • Boston Bar Association, “Trusts & Estates Mid-Year Review,” January 2014
  • Newton Community Education Seminar, “Aging Parents & Their Adult Children: Strategies & Solutions for Decision-Making,” April 2013
  • C.P.E. Associates, “Federal Transfer Tax Update,” November 2010 and November 2011
  • New England Women in Energy and the Environment, “Estate Planning Basics,” November 2010
  • Massachusetts Association of Public Accountants, “Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007,” November 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star for Estate & Probate Law,  2013-2015

Professional Memberships

  • Boston Estate Planning Council, Networking Committee
  • Boston Bar Association, Chair, Public Policy Committee
  • Boston Women’s Influencer Network

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida


  • Boston University School of Law – LL.M., Taxation
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University – J.D.
  • Johns Hopkins University – B.A.
  • Oxford University, St. Edmund Hall

Community Involvement

  • The Philanthropy Connection
  • Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association


“Waxman v. Waxman,” Boston Bar Association Trusts & Estates Blog, October 2013

“Massachusetts Passes Uniform Trust Code,” with Clifford Cohen, Burns & Levinson Trusts & Estates Update, August 2012

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