Buckley Law is a professional corporation that provides our clients with sound legal advice on all aspects of estate planning and corporate law, both within the U.S. and internationally. These services include:
What Fires Us Up
“We fulfill clients’ hopes, goals, aspiration and dreams…and sometimes, we get to take money from the IRS legally, ethically, appropriately and fairly and keep it in the pocket of the person that earned it – you.”
A Chinese proverb says if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. John C. Buckley, III has never worked since 1994 when he converted his international law practice to a boutique estate planning and business planning law practice in Colorado Springs. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy (BS), Webster University (MA) and Harvard Law School (JD), John owns Buckley Law, which his wife Melinda runs as the legal administrator.
Buckley Law has clients who are farmers and ranchers, as well as business owners of closely-held businesses in Colorado Springs, the Western Slope, ski country (Summit County) and the Eastern Plains. John grew up in Kentucky on a horse farm and Melinda’s father was a Kentucky equine veterinarian. John and Melinda love serving ranchers and farmers, and we appreciate the laid-back atmosphere of our home town of Colorado Springs. If clients are mobility challenged, sometimes we make house calls to their homes. Outside the office, dressed in a plaid flannel shirt and jeans, John’s eyes light up with enthusiasm when he explains how he uses planning tools to solve problems and save money for his clients.
Buckley Law is a boutique practice which works with teams of professionals in a multi-disciplinary fashion. This futuristic practice model is primarily used by larger law and accounting firms, but has been modified by John Buckley to meet the needs of this community. Knowing his clients want to be the “hub” of all information flow regarding their business and estate planning, John builds teams of professionals to work together transparently for the clients’ benefit. These teams can include John, along with a nationally-renowned business valuation expert, an insurance professional, a financial planner and a CPA. Together, the team looks for the best available tools to maximize the client’s benefit in each of these disciplines.
John restructures businesses to get current income tax deductions and save money on capital gains tax, estate tax and gift taxes when the owners exit the business. One of our specialties is planning a client’s business exit plan in a tax-efficient manner. Justice Learned Hand said there are two tax systems in America – one for the educated and one for the ignorant. John specializes in helping his clients do business in an educated manner.
Buckley Law doesn’t do “one size fits all”, “form document off the internet” planning. Our plans are unique to you. In business planning, the Firm focuses on returning the cost of your legal fees as much as possible through pre-tax savings when the plan is implemented. We use legal tools like carpenters use hammers and saws. John’s tools include (but are not limited to) limited partnerships, tax-exempt entities, and sophisticated trust planning. If the client only needs a simple will and powers of attorney, our Firm stands ready to serve that client as well. Sometimes, we can avoid probate and transfer your assets without using a will or a trust. It all goes to what your goals and objectives are.
Once used only by the rich and famous, John makes sophisticated business and estate planning tools available to everyone, including charitable planning with its significant tax breaks. J. Paul Getty, who among other financial wizards used charitable (or tax-exempt) planning to live the lifestyle of a billionaire but own little, is reputed to have said: “It’s amazing how much [money] you can make when you’re willing to give it away”. John’s philosophy is that if a person is estate or income taxable at death, she or he can either give an involuntary charitable contribution to the IRS (the government is a charity under the Tax Code), or can create wealth using tax-exempt tools while taking care of his or her heirs as well.
To begin working together, John conducts a first meeting with potential estate planning clients at no charge. They discuss the potential client’s family as well as the client’s goals, dreams and aspirations. At that point (if the client wishes to work with the Firm), Buckley Law prepares and coordinates a plan that will achieve the client’s immediate as well as long-term goals.
In addition to his law practice, John is very involved with his community. Buckley Law believes in serving our community both financially and with our time. John is an active member of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs, a former President of that Club and has been on the board of directors of the Champions Foundation for local scholar athletes. He was a past President of the Peak Executive Forum, providing innovative and practical business education for CXOs in the Front Range. He served on the national board of directors of the National Lawyers Association (www.nla.org) and was a board member of Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful. He incorporated the Colorado Parkinson Foundation, Inc. and has served proudly on its Board of Directors for over 20 years. He served on the Advisory Board of the 4th Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court, as well as the Statutory Review Committee of the Colorado Bar Association. John has been very involved in drafting two major statutes in Colorado (including the Colorado Uniform Trust Code) and has also been a leader preventing the adoption of statutes that were not in the best interest of Colorado citizens. Also, John donates numerous days each year to pro bono work. He is a member of the Christian Legal Society, providing legal services through Ecumenical Services Ministries (ESM) and Northern Churches Care to the homeless and disadvantaged. This means if anyone from ESM or Northern Churches Care needs him on the days he serves, they take priority over all other clients. John’s passion for kids led him to co-write a statute for a presumption of shared parenting time which went before the Colorado Legislature from 2002-2004.
He also conducts short seminars on business tax, charitable asset protection, and estate planning free of charge.
John is one of a handful of founding members of Wealth Counsel, LLC, comprised of approximately 8000+ of America’s top business and estate planning lawyers. He was also a member of Business Enterprise Institute, a leading group of business exit planners in America. Every year he invests a great deal of time and treasure (tuition plus travel expenses) to attend conferences in these key areas of the Firm’s practice. There, he interacts with the best of the best in estate and business planning. He does this because it keeps him on top of very advanced planning tools that save money and build wealth for his clients.
The vision of Buckley Law is to remain the pre-eminent business and estate planner along the Front Range. Our goal is that the people of the Front Range think of only one name – Buckley Law – when it comes to saving money on taxes in their businesses or passing legacies to their families.
Setting lofty goals does not mean that our Firm seeks to become a big-city law practice with dozens of lawyers. It means there is more space for smart men and women – paraprofessionals, CPAs, financial planners and insurance professionals – to work with the Buckley Law team. It means our staff will continue to grow as it expertly and ethically serves our clients.
Attorney Staff: John Buckley
John Buckley is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy as well as Harvard Law School, where he concentrated on corporate litigation and international law. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Association, and also served on the Board of Regents of Ava Maria Law School now located in Naples, FL. He is a member of the local chapter of the Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy, and served as a Graduate mentor for the cadets in Cadet Squadron Eleven. He is a founding member of Wealth Counsel LLC, an organization comprised of many of the best tax, business and estate planning lawyers in America.
John Buckley published articles on topics as diverse as US Air Force fighter aircraft safety, space warfare, and the legal risks of the present divorce laws and their adverse effect upon children. He performed (and performs) seminars nationwide and locally for both attorneys and laymen on estate and business planning and the unique tools available to clients to legally minimize their income, capital gains, estate and gift tax burdens. He is an owner of the Thunderbird Corporation. He has been an international business consultant with 20 years experience in Middle Eastern culture and business practices, as well as experience in Russia. He drafted a law considered by the Colorado Legislature in 2002-2004 on shared parenting, helped revise a law passed in 2011 concerning the appropriateness and applicability of professional trustee fees in Colorado, and was one of the drafters of the Colorado Uniform Trust Code which took effect on January 1, 2019.
Mr. Buckley is an active Rotarian and served on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs and the Champions Foundation for local scholar athletes. He served as the President of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs in 2012-13, and participates in local service projects for his community with Rotary on an ongoing basis. He spent a total of 24 years as an Air Force officer, including ten years on active duty and 14 years in the reserves. During his career, he was checked out as pilot in command in the T-41 Muscalero, T-33 Shooting Star and the F-106 Delta Dart. He logged flight time in the 0-2 Skymaster, T-38 Talon, F-101 Voodoo, F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, L-39 Albatross, and Mig-29 Fulcrum. He is a retired reserve lieutenant colonel who finished his career serving as the original (“plankholder”) squadron commander of the first combined space test and aggressor squadron in the history of the United States Air Force.
Legal Administrator: Melinda Buckley
Melinda is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She brought 20 years’ of significant business experience managing the administrative processes of two different $1,000,000+ closely held family businesses prior to beginning her career at Buckley Law Offices P.C. in 1999. She has served as the key interface between Buckley Law and our clients for 20+ years. She provides a pleasant greeting to all potential and actual clients who enter our Offices. Most of our clients get to know Melinda as she completes the administration for our clients after estate and business plans are completed.
Legal Assistant: Brianne Baker-Hudgins
Brianne is the newest addition to the Buckley Law Office. She comes with a background indicative of her inborn need to care for the well-being of others and do it with a smile. Her stellar organizational skills and attention to detail make her a key part of the Buckley Law team.
Brianne has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2014. Together they love the Colorado outdoors and spend time jeeping, hiking and taking in the scenery. Their day trips often include Custer County, where Brianne’s paternal roots are planted deeply. She is a seventh generation Coloradan.
With the political and economic climate as it is in the summer of 2008, we are not likely to see total repeal of the federal estate tax in the foreseeable future. However, both Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates support estate tax reform. Realistically,...