Thomas H. Belknap

Retired Partner

belknap-thomas-h
  • JD, Vanderbilt University Law School, 1965
  • BA, Yale University, 1962

Qualifications

  • Massachusetts, 1974
  • New York, 1966
  • American Bar Association (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)
  • Boston Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)
  • New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Law Section)
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (1986 - present)
  • Finance and Advisory Committee, Hamilton, Massachusetts, Member (1974-1976), Chair (1976-1980)
  • Member, Boston Estate Planning Counsel
  • Member, Boston Probate Forum
  • Fellow, American College of Trust & Estates Counsel
  • Member, Boston Estate Planning Counsel
  • Member, Boston Probate Forum
  • The Best Lawyers in America (1997-2011)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004-2006, 2008-2009)

Thomas H. Belknap

Retired Partner

Tom Belknap joined Ropes & Gray as a partner in 2003 and retired on December 31, 2006, though he continues to provide trust services to clients.

Tom focuses on estate planning, estate administration, and trusteeship. He is the trustee of over 100 revocable and irrevocable private family and charitable trusts. Tom’s practice includes significant work in estate, gift, generation-skipping and fiduciary income tax planning, as well as insurance planning and the disposition of family businesses. In addition, he has developed a specialty focusing on estate planning for non-traditional families.

Experience

Tom's professional experience included estate planning including preparation of wills, trusts and other family documents; insurance planning; disposition of family business; settlement, including executorship, of estates; trusteeship of over 100 revocable and irrevocable private family and charitable trusts; estate, gift, generation-skipping and fiduciary income tax planning and administration; guardianships, conservatorships and other miscellaneous probate court proceedings. He also has served as consultant and expert witness in numerous litigated probate cases involving such issues as the suitability of investments in trust assets and the responsibilities of executors and trustees with respect to taxes, investments and distributions.

One of Tom’s significant contributions to the practice has been as editor of Newhalls’ “Settlement of Estates and Fiduciary Law in Massachusetts since 1980. He has rewritten the entire three-volume work, and has authored the annual supplements since that time. For over 50 years, the treatise has been generally considered to be the premier work on estate settlement and fiduciary law in Massachusetts.