Ruby C. Wake, Managing Partner
Attorney Ruby Wake’s estate planning practice focuses on helping families enhance their lives today and secure their futures tomorrow. She excels in guiding her clients through the often confusing maze of financial and legal decisions. This can only be accomplished by creating plans that ensure the well-being of their families and the accomplishment of cherished family goals. Her considerable legal expertise includes family protection and wealth preservation, as well as planning strategies for unmarried couples and divorced individuals. Whether you are married or single, with a traditional family or blended one, just starting out or looking back on a life well-lived, Ruby will help you to craft a plan that achieves your goals for your loved ones today and for years to come.
Ruby graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 2008. After graduation, Ruby continued working at the boutique wills, trusts and estates law firm of Law Offices of Amy Holzman, PLLC, where she started off as a paralegal in 2004. As an associate, Ruby represented high net-worth families and their businesses, as well as couples requiring pre-nuptial agreements. After eight years of working closely with clients, Ruby transitioned to the Private Client Services, Estates & Trusts Department of the prestigious New York City law firm, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. At Windels, Ruby had the opportunity of working closely with some of the most influential estate planning attorneys in New York.
In 2013, Wake Law, LLC was established because Ruby wanted to cater her practice to assisting families in estate planning without the stringent requirements imposed by some of the top law firms. Ruby moved to Florida and has transitioned her successful New York practice to serve clients in the Tampa Bay area. She has chosen to concentrate her practice in estate planning for growing families, families with children with special needs, elderly clients requiring assistance, and small business owners. Ruby is passionate about helping families create happy and secure futures.
Most importantly, Ruby is happily married to Anthony and the proud mother of Ethan and Kaleesi.
How We’re Different
Explaining to you how we’re different requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a lawyer is like. If you’ve worked with a lawyer to prepare estate planning documents for you in the past, this will sound familiar.
Traditional Estate Planning Attorneys
During the traditional experience, you’ll go in and meet with a lawyer who will often make things seem very complicated and confusing. You’ll have a good idea that the lawyer is smart and seems to know what she’s doing. You’ll nod often and answer questions, as if you understand everything. Because you want to do the right thing for your family, you’ll have the lawyer prepare documents for you and you’ll sign the documents. You will feel relieved that you’ve taken care of your estate plan. You’ll take your documents, stick them on a shelf or in a drawer, mark estate planning off on your checklist as DONE and never think about it again.
You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into the trust. So you’ll go to the bank but forget what you were supposed to do. Logically, you call your lawyer’s office but only get a voicemail. You’ll have to leave the bank and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you’ll have gotten busy with other things. So you never get around to moving that bank account. A few weeks later, you’ll get a bill in the mail for $67.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You’ll make a mental note – don’t call lawyer ever again.
Several years later, you’ll refinance your house or sell it and buy a new one and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know or make sure you kept the title in the name of the trust. Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you’ll get a bill in the mail two weeks later. You’ll hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you’d surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you don’t worry about it.
It’s not until you become incapacitated or die and your family finds the binder you stuck up on a shelf several years before and never looked at again, that they’ll realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets and the law. Your family is at a loss. They don’t know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer you used to prepare the documents, who is as happy as can be to probate your assets.
How Do I Know All This?
Because it has happened to so many families that have come to me for help and I swore it would never happen to my clients when I opened my own firm.
Our Firm Helps Your Prepare For Life
What makes our firm different is that we are here not just to create a set of documents you will likely never update or look at again, we are here to ensure your loved ones have someone to turn to when you are no longer here. We support you in planning not just for your legacy (what you leave behind when you are gone), but for life as well.
We understand you are BUSY, you are growing, you desire a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience and efficiency. You want to know you’ve made the best decisions for your family during your lifetime and that your family will be left with ease and aware of your love by how well you prepared. You want to make sure your children would be taken care of in the best way possible and will be properly prepared to receive your wealth, when it is time.
That’s our focus too. We’ve developed unique systems to give you the same access to an estate planning attorney who were previously only available to the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Sam Walton so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and leave a legacy of family wealth.
What is Family Wealth?
Family wealth is so much more than financial wealth. It really encompasses everything you care about even more than money, your values, insights, stories, experience — your intellectual, spiritual and human assets. As part of our planning process, we guide you to consider and plan for those most often lost assets.
We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, we’ve thrown out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick question (or even a not so quick question). Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises.
As I mentioned, we believe your financial wealth is only about a quarter of your overall “Family Wealth” which is made up of your far more valuable, intellectual, spiritual and human assets – who you are and what’s important to you. Most lawyers only focus on transferring your financial wealth to the next generation; we focus on identifying and building your family wealth during your lifetime and leaving a legacy of love that goes far beyond money, after you are gone.
What to Expect
We block off two hours on our calendar for your planning session. Please plan to be here for the full two hours so that you can get the most out of your planning session. If this will not be possible during the time you scheduled, please give us a call so we can reschedule.
I will expect to meet with you and anyone else you will be planning with such as your spouse or life partner. Please make sure all parties will be available during the meeting time so that you can make the most of your planning session.
Your meeting will begin with me sharing some of my background and history. We’ll then walk through “what would happen” if something were to happen to you now. You’ll let me know if “what would happen” is okay with you or not. If it’s not, I will help you design a plan to ensure your family will have as little to worry about as possible if something happens to you.
How to Prepare for Your Planning Session
You will get the most out of your personal planning session if you are prepared.
First, you will want to complete this worksheet. Complete the worksheet as best you can. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the details we’ve asked for, it’s a great starting point for you to get your affairs organized. We realize that for many people this is a starting point. The planning process is extremely helpful in that regard. We are going to make organization even easier for you after you meet with us. Please return your worksheet at least one week before your scheduled meeting so we will have an opportunity to thoroughly review your worksheet and will be ready to advise you when you come for your meeting.
Next, you will want to begin gathering bank account statements, brokerage statements, deeds, life insurance information, corporate records books (if you are a business owner), and retirement plan statements. Don’t worry if you can’t find everything. Again, this is just a starting point and we will help you gather everything you need throughout our process.
Now would also be a good time to request beneficiary designation change forms from your insurance company, custodian of your retirement account, or from your HR department if you have work-related benefits. While you won’t need those right away, you will need them eventually and starting now can’t hurt.
If you have any trouble gathering any of this information, do not hesitate to give us a call … we’re here to help.
Call (813) 252-8667 to set up an appointment to discuss your Estate Plan and Trust.