PRACTICE AREA: Estate Planning & Probate
Mr. Lenhard serves on the Firm's Board of Directors and is the Chairperson of the Estate Planning & Probate Department. He has extensive experience representing individuals, families, and businesses in estate and tax planning, as well as business advisory matters and litigation.
Additionally, Mr. Lenhard has provided consultation to U.S. multinational clients in both federal and international tax matters.
Tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to be at Wickens Herzer Panza.
I started out practicing law in the plaintiff’s personal injury space. I worked at a small firm with a great group of lawyers who taught me a lot about the practice of law. I was a finance major in college and wanted to move my practice toward planning and consultation as opposed to litigation. A good friend of mine suggested looking into tax as he correctly stated, “tax touches everything”. He inspired me to get my LL.M. in taxation, which led me to the area of estate planning.
What one quote resonates with you, either personally or professionally (or both)?
"Wisdom is the reward you get for listening when you would have rather talked." Mark Twain
What is your passion? What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
My family is my number one passion and priority. After that, I enjoy volunteering my time as a board member with some great non-profit organizations, golf (although I threaten to give it up every year), reading (everything), most recently WWII history and stories about the Greatest Generation, the Tribe (errr… The Guardians), and the Fighting Irish.
Why did you begin practicing this area of law in the first place?
After taking some trust and estate courses, I was hooked on the many ways lawyers could counsel clients on attaining their goals of providing a legacy, plan for family generations, charitable giving, business succession, and of course, saving some tax along the way.
Tell me about your most recent big "win".
I recently assisted a non-profit organization regain its tax-exempt status due to some unfortunate circumstances and avoid all tax liability, penalties and interest. It was a big relief to the organization and took the pressure off its budget.
Why do/should people want to and choose to work with you?
I try to be a good listener when working with clients so I can learn about their goals, their successes and failures, and what keeps them up at night. Once I have an understanding of where the client wants to go, I can then share with them my knowledge, experience and insights in a collaborative manner so we can work together on achieving an estate plan that is right for them.
1999 - Case Western Reserve University (LL.M., Taxation)
1993 – Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D.)
1989 – University of Notre Dame (B.B.A., Finance)
State of Ohio
American Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
West Side Catholic Center (Board Member, 2016-2022; President, 2021-2022)
Seeds of Literacy (Board Member, 2001-2008; President, 2006-2008)
St. Ignatius High School Alumni Council (Member, 1995-1999)
Notre Dame Club of Cleveland
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