Estate Planning For Medical Professionals
As much as a medical practitioner would want to give the best care for their patients, they must also factor in protection for their medical business entity as well as their personal assets earned throughout the long years of practice.
Estate planning for medical professionals involves issues like regulatory and asset protection typically encountered in planning for individual practitioners as well as medical businesses. For most people, estate planning is different for doctors and medical professionals than it is for most other people.
A medical professional needs to plan ahead and be informed of how to prepare jointly-owned accounts or agreements just in case something happens to them.
If the medical business is a joint practice, both professionals must be in agreement on how their business will be handled should one of them die.
Family members of medical professionals typically receive the most benefits within most plans set up. Most medical professionals set up a comprehensive estate plan that covers all provisions for their family. These plans also include things like a designated medical professional to manage the practice just in case something happens such as disability or death.
A medical professional is required for a medical practice
Currently U.S. law only allows medical professionals to perform medical practices or own shares in medical companies. An heir of a medical practitioner may run the practice only if he or she employs a licensed medical professional to perform medical practices for the medical company.
Typically a medical professional will include a provision in the estate planthat another medical professional can practice if he or she dies before retirement. In everything that the medical professional does, there must always be a contract in place.
When a medical professional dies, the heir can keep the practice operating through another medical professional until the medical business is sold.
The sale of a medical practice
Upon the death of a medical practitioner, there should already be a plan for the practice to be bought by another medical professional. There may also be a provision for a buy-sell agreement with another medical practitioner where the other one can buy the other's medical practice just in case either of them is dying or dies.
Among the last steps to be done in estate planning are the valuation of medical practice and notifications of a medical professionals' not being able to practice. It is difficult to valuate a medical practice. In a buy-sell agreement, an appraiser may value the practice.
In the event that the medical professional stops practicing due to health reasons or death, his or her patients should be notified. Also, other companies may also be notified such as third party payors, Medicare, HMOs (if they provided services), the hospitals where the medical professional is connected, and others.
The preparation for estate planning for the medical professionals really differ when compared with most other professionals and we can't just ignore the differences. When tackling matters like this, it would be best to seek out the advice of a lawyer specializing in estate planning for medical practitioners specifically.