Starting your own medical practice is a major investment. You may have to empty your savings account or take out loans to cover all of the expenses involved in obtaining your own facilities and now practicing coverage.
The patients that you see and your staff members have a vested interest in how you manage your practice, including what happens to it if your health declines or you die. Careful estate planning is important for any business owner, but especially for those in the medical field.
How do you plan for the future of your medical practice when you will no longer work there?
You need to have a long-term plan and be transparent about it
If you intend for the medical offices you started to close their doors when you retire or die, your staff members and patients deserve that information, especially if you have grown close to retirement age.
On the other hand, if you want to take out a new partner or pass the business on to your child who is currently in medical school, sharing that information with your clients and staff might help inspire increased loyalty to the practice.
You need to address business operations and value
Whether you close the practice or keep it open, there will be numerous practical details to address. The transfer, storage and destruction of private medical records is one concern, and the severance pay for your staff members is another.
If you intend to keep the company open for business, then you will likely need a succession plan talking about and helping bring that person so they could fill your job responsibilities.
Your medical practice could cause disputes
If you have three children and one of them has pursued an advanced degree in the same field of medicine in which you practice, it might make perfect sense to leave your practice to that child. You need to consider the impact that decision would have on your other children and the likelihood that they would disagree with it.
Talking with your family members about your estate wishes can reduce the likelihood that they will challenge your last wishes and complicate estate proceedings in a way that might negatively affect your medical practice.
Thinking about the long-term needs of your patients and staff can help you protect everyone with an interest in your successful medical practice.