Attorney Profile

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Paul is an Attorney and Certified Public Accountant. He acts as outside general counsel to privately owned businesses using his finance and legal training to assist clients in the diligence necessary in starting new ventures, operating ongoing enterprises, arranging financing, and preparing business succession plans. He is involved in commercial litigation when required. His estate planning practice includes preparing wills and trusts at all levels of complexity, counseling clients regarding estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, asset protection planning for family and closely-held business assets, and Elder Care Planning (including Veterans and Medicaid Asset protection planning). He excels at developing pragmatic and tailored solutions.

He holds a Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws in Tax (LLM) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from DePaul University in Chicago. His undergraduate Accounting Degree was completed at Saint Joseph's College in Indiana. As an Illinois CPA he was a Managing Director with KPMG LLP and active in senior financial and business development roles at GE Capital, CIT, Chicago Freight, Trinity Industries, and Newcourt Capital. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Management at Saint Xavier University in Chicago and in the College of Business at Governors State University. Paul is 2020 President of the Illinois Chapter of the Financial Planning Association and a past Ambassador for the Commercial Alliance Committee at the Maintstreet Organization of REALTORS® in Downers Grove. He is a past Village of Tinley Park Zoning Board of Appeals Commissioner.

Focus and Fees

General Counsel Services. We act as outside general counsel for privately owned, entrepreneurial business owners and their families. Using our accounting, finance, and legal knowledge we assist clients in starting new ventures, operating ongoing enterprises, arranging financing, and managing business succession. Fees are generally hourly, or monthly retainer.

Real Estate. For Commercial Real Estate transactions we provide legal diligence and transaction management. Commercial services are billed on an hourly basis. Fees for residential sale or purchase transactions are fixed unless unusual circumstances arise in which case additional time is billed at our standard office hourly rate. We act as a Title Agent for Chicago Title and Attorney Title Guaranty in preparing your owners Title Commitment Policy.

Business Consulting and Succession Planning. We provide strategic planning, financial diligence, tax structuring and transaction management for business development, acquisitions, and sales of operating businesses. Fees are hourly and generally include an upfront retainer plus a success fee component (based on the Lehman formula) when handling business sale transactions.

Estate Planning. Estate planning services are delivered on an estimated fee basis. We make it a point to discuss fees before an attorney-client relationship is established. At our initial meeting we discuss planning objectives, review asset summaries and offer solutions. Once all information necessary to effectuate the estate plan has been obtained, an estimated fee is quoted and an out-of-pocket cost estimate provided. Fees and costs are confirmed in writing, and the client is asked to sign a fee agreement so that there is no misunderstanding about the services being provided and the fees being charged.

Elder and Special Needs Law. Middle class asset protection, 'long term care' alternatives, and special needs life care planning (which may include Medicaid and Veteran's Benefit planning) are offered to clients who require these services. Fees are determined by the type of planning selected by the client and are generally billed on an hourly basis.

Tax and Investment Planning. Paul is a member of the AICPA's Personal Financial Planning ("PFP") section. The Lechner Group offers "integrated planning" which combines tax, legal, and investment planning services. After considering your 'risk' profile, our goal is to assist you in achieving your short and long term investment objectives. Planning fees are hourly and dependent on the type and complexity of the plan being developed, the asset mix, the extent of tax planning involved, and other factors. It is impossible to estimate a fee until we have the client's personal and financial information, know the client's planning goals and objectives, and have an opportunity to discuss various planning alternatives.

Estate Administration. Fees for probate, estate, and trust administration are quoted on an hourly basis. Each case is individual so we emphasize that fee estimates are a function of the size and complexity of the estate (or trust), the manner in which assets are held, the type of assets involved, whether federal and/or state estate tax returns must be filed, the presence or absence of real estate in Illinois or elsewhere, the character and amount of debts left by the decedent, valuation issues, possible disputes among beneficiaries and other factors too numerous to mention. Each situation is unique and must be individually evaluated.

Civil Litigation. Litigation services are provided in Illinois civil courts generally in the Probate and Law divisions. Services are provided on an hourly basis with an up-front retainer required.

Equipment Leasing. With specialized experience in originating, structuring and developing alternative equipment investment opportunities we act as financing and investment transaction legal counsel for Rail and Aviation equipment investors.

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money - that is all. But, when you pay too little, you stand to lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

John Ruskin (1819-1900)