While everyone needs Asset Protection, doctors especially vulnerable due to the nature of their profession. Creating an Asset Protection plan catered to your medical career will protect not only yourself, but your practice as well. Knowing the risks to doctors and the mistakes to avoid is the first step.
Doctors are a common lawsuit target. The average doctor is perceived to be wealthy which makes them a higher risk target. Even if you are not liable, a lawsuit can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, even if you win. In 2018, the American Medical Association reported that 1 in 3 doctors have been named in at least one lawsuit. Setting up your plan before a lawsuit happens will save you time, effort, and money.
As a doctor, you face personal risks from your occupation. Not only can your practice be sued, but you can be sued individually. A personal judgement can financially wipe you out. Your practice can be sued simultaneously. Thus, putting your business and your partners at risk. With a well-structured Asset Protection plan, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate settlements.
For doctors, liability insurance is not a 100% guarantee. Medical Malpractice is important, but it does not provide enough protection; not to mention its costly price point. It is certainly a great first step, but you want belt and suspender. The majority of lawsuits are not fully covered by insurance. Or, what if your insurance coverage is inadequate. Your insurance company may go bankrupt, leaving you to pick up the pieces. Insurance also does not cover other uninsured financial risks and divorce.
Here are five mistakes to avoid for doctors seeking Asset Protection:
Do not hide your assets. You NEVER want to hide your assets. Asset Protection focuses on titling your assets appropriately to offer you the best possible protection. Hiding your assets will only cause problems down the road. You should be able to tell anyone where your assets are, yet they should not be able to reach them.
Do not title your assets to “straws.”If you simply title your assets to your friend or a family member (“straws”), your assets are still vulnerable. Whoever you title your assets to can still be sued and your assets can be lost in the process.
Do not title assets to your spouse.Simply because a spouse is not a doctor does not mean they have less liability. Your spouse can be sued over anything at any time. For example, your spouse can get into a car accident and be sued. If you title your assets to your spouse, your assets are at risk.
Do not commit fraudulent transfers.This occurs when you transfer assets out of your name for less than fair market value after you have a present or potential lawsuit. As a result, the creditor doesn’t get paid.
Do not break any laws.Whether your assets are held domestically or internationally, always follow the proper reporting requirements. Withholding information from the treasury department or the IRS has serious consequences. Make sure everything you do is ethical and legal. Asset Protection utilizes ethical and legal strategies to protect yourself from inevitable financial threats.
To learn more about Asset Protection for doctors, read our blog about strategies to protect doctor’s assets:(https://www.assetprotectionattorneys.com/Asset_Protection_Blog/2019/September/Asset_Protection_for_Doctors.aspx)
For more information on Asset Protection, contact The Presser Law Firm, P.A. for a complimentary preliminary consultation.
The Presser Law Firm, P.A.
6199 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton FL 33487
(561) 953-1050 or e-mail Info@AssetProtectionAttorneys.com