Estate Planning for Medical Professionals
Every person should have an estate plan, however medical professionals have additional needs and considerations. Several options are available to protect your assets and to ensure that the practice you spent years building benefits your heirs when you pass away. Learning the different ways to not only preserve your assets but protect them through estate planning can help you understand your rights and help you make the best choices as you create your estate plan.
Standard Estate Planning
Every person needs a solid and comprehensive estate plan in which retirement planning, tax planning, business planning, and estate planning work in unison. While medical professionals need a traditional estate plan, they have additional concerns and issues that others outside the medical community may not face.
Additionally, although doctors and dentists may be making a lot of income, they may not have a high net worth. Without a solid retirement plan, they may not be setting enough aside for retirement, or failing to strategically save in a way that would reduce their income tax liability. Estate planning for medical professionals can be a unique process in that there are certain advantages available, such as irrevocable trusts for minor children, that can help not only prepare for retirement but also ensure that your estate passes to your beneficiaries with minimal tax penalties.
As a medical practitioner, you are likely aware of the potential for medical malpractice lawsuits. There is a saying among medical professionals, “There are two kinds of doctors – those who have been sued, and those who will be sued.” Given our litigious society, it is important to create a plan that will protect the practice’s business assets.
There are two types of trusts that may assist in asset protection for medical professionals: domestic asset protection trusts and foreign asset protection trusts. Visiting with an estate planning attorney can help you understand how these types of trusts could be useful or advantageous to you financially.
The assets that your medical practice owns are likely considerable. Property, equipment, and receivables are just some of the assets of your business. Who will buy your interest in this property when you pass away? Who knows the true value of your business?
A buy-sell agreement is a tool that eliminates the complicated transaction of selling a business after a medical professional passes away. The agreement decides ahead of time who will buy the interest and the value of your business and eliminates the uncertainty regarding not only who will buy the business, but at what price. There are even options for you to pre-fund the buy-sell agreement with an insurance policy, which would ensure that funds are available to any beneficiaries, therefore avoiding any disruption in the course of your business.
Protecting your business interests and ensuring that your beneficiaries receive the benefit of your practice after you pass away can be done through a properly executed buy-sell agreement. Consider visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine if this estate planning option is right for your business.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you are a medical professional, you have distinct and unique financial situations to examine as you create your estate plan. Contact the Law Office of Kris Mukherji at (858) 442-5747 to learn your best plan for ensuring that your beneficiaries receive the assets from your practice that took you years to build.