Jennifer Goforth Gregory 2013-06-12 01:06:07
Passion for Estate Planning like many college students, Jonathan McGee had a general idea of his future career when he started his freshman year at the University of Southern California. He was pretty sure that he wanted to attend business school and thought accounting would provide him with a great understanding of the inter workings of businesses. However, as a student athlete for the USC Trojans’ football team, he was involved in a freak accident when he was struck by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting during football practice. Aft er making a full recovery and transferring to the University of Oklahoma, McGee spent hours working with the university legal department to negotiate a waiver of certain NCAA rules so that he did not lose a year of eligibility and could play immediately for the University of Oklahoma football team. “It was during this process, that I first became interested in the legal profession,” McGee says. He eventually moved back to his home state of Arizona and graduated with a BS in accounting from the University of Arizona. While interning at the House of Representatives in Phoenix, he saw firsthand how laws were created and interacted with the representatives, attorneys and lobbyists. “I really enjoyed interpreting proposed legislation, drafting bill summaries and presenting the proposed legislation in committing meetings. It was this experience that really solidified my decision to go to law school,” he says. McGee graduated from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2002 and began his legal career at KB Home in Tucson, Ariz. He worked in a legal and business management capacity with several firms before moving to Lake Tahoe, Nev. and joining the law firm of Alling & Jillson in 2008. In addition to practicing business law and real estate at the firm, McGee added estate planning and estate administration to his practice. Since many of the estates he worked on at the firm commonly exceeded $10 million, McGee was exposed to the strategies and techniques of advanced estate planning. “I realized how much I enjoy estate planning because I saw how advantageous proper planning was from both a financial perspective for saving tax dollars and protecting assets to the personal in limiting the emotional impact death or incapacity may have on the family,” says McGee. In 2012, McGee returned to Arizona with his wife and two kids to open his own law firm, McGee Law Firm, LLC in Scottsdale. His practice areas include estate planning, business law and real estate, but he finds himself especially drawn to the estate planning portion of his business. “As the years go by, I find myself gravitating towards estate planning because there are huge benefits to the family for both small and large estates.” Since moving to Arizona, he has found that being a member of the bar in California, Nevada and Arizona has been a big benefit for his clients. “I work with a lot of people who have business, real estate or family connections among the three states. It really helps in addressing clients’ multi-jurisdictional issues” McGee says. He is also regularly invited as a guest speaker for events such as Business Contracts A to Z by the National Business Institute and Beyond Business Formation by Law Review CLE. As a CPA, he stays involved in the accounting community and is a member of the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the Wealth Counsel, the nation’s premier community of estate planning attorneys. McGee is quiet and humble when asked about his legal accomplishments. But he quickly becomes animated when discussing his clients, which he says is his favorite part of being a lawyer. “I am very passionate about my clients. I enjoy helping them find creative solutions to their problems and to achieve their goals.”
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