Jonathon L. Petty
Attorney Jonathon L. Petty is dedicated to helping individuals, families and business owners achieve peace of mind by providing comprehensive, highly personalized counsel in wealth preservation strategies, implementing family custom-tailored estate, tax and charitable plans. As the firm’s founder, he holds the highest standard for client services, scholarship and accessibility. He serves his clients by first listening closely to their goals, dreams and concerns. He then works with his clients to develop superior plans that reflect the clients’ own unique situations, while putting his knowledge and experience to work for their benefit. He believes that effective estate plans are critical to the emotional and financial well-being of our clients. He is committed to helping his clients understand that the foundation of estate planning is not just saving tax dollars, but also appreciating the value of planning for themselves and their loved ones.
Jon’s goal is to educate our clients and streamline the process so that they are motivated to develop a plan. Whether it be simple, probate avoidance trusts, to complex, highly creative, highly detailed provisions for minors, special needs beneficiary, or pets, Jon wants clients to know he is there to design their custom plans. Mr. Petty strives to treat his clients like his own family, where they know they are not simply another case, but unique families whose concerns become his own. When required, he uses sophisticated advanced planning techniques such as family partnerships, limited partnerships, new business startups, and life insurance trusts.
Mr. Petty practices in the areas of estate planning, strategic wealth conservation, business continuity planning, charitable giving and asset protection. In addition to practicing law, he is actively involved and enjoys working hand in hand with insurance professionals, lawyers, financial advisors, CPAs, and stock brokers in basic and advanced estate planning concepts.
- San Joaquin College of Law, California, J.D., 2010
- Western Michigan University, M.A., Philosophy, 2000
- California State University Fresno, B.A., Philosophy, 1998
- Estate Planning Law Office of Jonathon L. Petty, Inc., 2014-Present
- Wright & Wright Attorneys at Law, Inc., Partner, 2010-2014
- Professor: Philosophy, English, 1999-2007
California Bar Association, Fresno County Bar Association, Estate Planning and Probate Section; Wealth Counsel, LLC, a national network of estate planning attorneys; Advisors Forum.
“I am frequently asked how I made my way from philosophy to estate planning. In my mind, there is an important foundational element that runs through both fields.
Most of my study in philosophy focused on people and relationships. Specifically, I was most concerned with ethics and social-political philosophy. I was interested in the ways that individuals relate to those around them. Ultimately, I find philosophy rewarding because the chief aim is to consider a problem and find innovative, sound solutions to solve those problems.
I find estate planning to offer a similar challenge. Individuals and families come to me with specific wishes, hopes, concerns, and family dynamics. Together, we discuss the project and how each person envisions the plan to unfold. By listening carefully to what the client has to say, it allows me to offer unique, specific options for the plan design. My job is to know the law and craft a document that is the culmination of the client’s design for the plan.
Ultimately, I find estate planning to be so rewarding, because, like philosophy, it is the process of applying sound principles and creative solutions to solve unique problems. Most importantly, I have the opportunity to provide peace of mind and genuine solutions for real people and real families, not simply some abstract notion like truth or justice.
Some might say that this assessment of estate planning applies to any area of law, whether it be criminal, civil actions in tort, or broader constitutional issues. I think that is fairly accurate. For me, where I find estate planning to be more unique from so many areas of law is that the aim of sound estate planning is to avoid legal strife and to avoid involvement of the courts. Ideally, when creating an estate plan you are trying to avoid probate court, to avoid fights among families and heirs, and to avoid lawsuits. There is pain associated with the incapacity or death of a loved one. But that is a recognized aspect of life that we all face. My hope with estate planning is to meet those cycles of life with a confidence that the client’s will or hope for the future is met; that he or she will feel comfort in knowing they have provided a legacy for their loved ones. Unlike so many other areas of the law, where the aim is to make someone whole after he or she has been wronged, proper estate planning aims to prevent harm—to prevent a legal battle.
For me, estate planning is so important because it allows me to help you create your vision…to create a set of documents that meets your concerns and tells the story you wish to tell; ideally, to write the happy ending you want your legacy to represent.”