Attorney John Wong left one of the country’s biggest and most prestigious Los Angeles estate planning firms to launch his own private practice in Orange County because he knew “there was a better way.”
BY RICK WEINBERG, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS JOURNAL
When John Wong was hired by the esteemed estate planning law firm of Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker in Los Angeles, in legal circles it was akin to making the Major Leagues.
“It is considered the estate planning firm, not only in Los Angeles but in the country,” Wong says. “When I joined the firm, I truly felt like I had made it to the top. There was nowhere else to go. This was it.”
He was working with some of the largest estates in the country, including those of Brittney Spears and Michael Jackson. “There was nothing else you could ask for from an estate planning perspective,” he says. “I worked with some of the brightest estate planning attorneys in the county. I felt I’d spend the rest of my career there.”
As the years passed, Wong cherished working at the firm, yet at such a young age of only 32, there were times he felt there was something more out there for him. And there was: launching his own practice.
He did just that, establishing Modern Wealth Law, APLC in Orange County, Calif. in 2014, and he quickly learned that yes — the only thing better than working for a world-class estate planning firm was having an exceptional estate planning firm of his own.
“I realized there was a need in the market for sophisticated, customized estate planning that every client needed and deserved, but was traditionally reserved for only the highest paying clients at the biggest firms,” he says.
“I knew there was a better way,” he quickly adds. “I knew I could provide the same level of knowledge as the big estate planning firms, but at a price that was more reasonable by creating a more efficient and stream-lined practice.”
The decision could not have worked out better as the firm continues to grow and thrive year after year.
And it all starts with Wong, a highly-intelligent, driven individual with an electric personality, attitude and skill set.
Wong has always possessed an innate ability to explain complicated concepts in a way everyone could understand. Estate planning was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
“With estate planning, you need to have a thorough understanding of not only trusts and estates law, but also income tax, property tax and corporate tax,” Wong says.
While not every estate planning attorney explains the complexities of estate planning to their clients, Wong says the best estate plan is one the client can understand.
“It’s not enough to be an expert. You need to be able to apply your knowledge to each client’s situation,” he says. “Sometimes the textbook plan is not the best solution for the client.”
The better the client understands the issues, he says, the more input they have on the creation of the estate plan.
Where Wong truly excels is being able to navigate through the complicated areas of law and drafting personalized estate plans that leverage each client’s situation.
Take it from Sean Peake, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He has sent many of his clients to Modern Wealth Law.
“What places John far and above all the other estate planning attorneys I’ve worked with is his communication skills, his ability to distill the topic of estate planning to my clients who have $100,000 in assets to $10 million,” Peake says. “He’s clear and concise. It’s the clarity and the strategies he employs that separate him from everyone else. It’s incredibly impressive in the way he goes about his business.”
John L. Wong, Attorney & Managing Shareholder
Modern Wealth Law, APLC
3200 Park Center Drive, Suite 260, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: (949) 371-5003