Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability. It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners and employees, contractual obligations, and personal liabilities add to the risk assumed by a physician in private practice. Unfortunately, in our litigious society, these liability risks are not unique to physicians. Business owners, board members, real estate investors, and retirees need to protect themselves from a variety of liabilities too. Being proactive and implementing some proven liability planning strategies is a must for every business owner.
Below are three liability planning tips anyone – physicians and non-physicians alike – can use to protect their hard earned money.
Inheritance protection is often only considered if beneficiaries are considered unable to handle their inheritance on their own. However, if you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again. In this day and age of frivolous lawsuits and high divorce rates, discretionary lifetime trusts should be considered for all of your beneficiaries, minors and adults alike.
Payable on Death accounts, or “POD accounts” for short, have become popular for avoiding probate. I have heard some people refer to POD accounts as the “poor-man’s” estate plan; I do not agree.
It’s a common belief that estate planning means death planning. However, planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle. It is just as important to make a plan for what happens if you become mentally incapacitated.
Comprehensive estate planning must include incapacity planning. Estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about having a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated during your life.