Physicians: Take Asset Protection Seriously

by Bruce Givner on January 25, 2012

Physicians generally rank as high earners in most income surveys.  Regardless of how high or low their earnings are, however, as part of their short- and long-term financial planning, physicians should consider implementing an asset protection plan against potential liabilities and determined creditors.  So whether a physician’s practice is an employee of a health care facility or structured as a corporation or limited liability company, physicians should take steps to protect their hard-earned assets.  Here are four steps to consider in your asset protection plan:

  • Obtain enough insurance.  A physician should carry enough property and casualty insurance to adequately cover potential malpractice judgments.  Malpractice insurance is also a must.
  • Set up your business to best protect your personal assets While a personal corporation structure does not protect a physician from malpractice judgments, it can protect a physician from other potential liabilities such as slip and falls that occur on the business premises.  An important part of a physician’s asset protection plan, this process begins by taking a detailed inventory of the physician’s personal and business property.
  • Retitle your assets. Consider putting assets not generally protected from creditors, such as CDs, stocks and bonds, investment real property, LLCs and partnership interests, in an asset protection structure.
  • Structure your contracts.  When you negotiate a contract, sign the contract in the name of your corporation, not in your personal name, and include language that limits your liability by capping or disallowing damages.

An expert asset protection attorney can guide physicians in making asset protection choices.  For help in asset protection, contact us at (310) 207-8008.

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