Originally appeared in Estate Planning, a Thomson Reuters publication. Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting.
Although physicians generally take advantage of the newest medical advances when care for their patients, many have not kept their personal estate, retirement, and asset protection planning current. They regularly monitor patients’ medical well-being, typically in the form of annual (or more frequent) physical exams, as well as state-of-the-art imaging techniques, but often do note appreciate the necessity of doing their own periodic financial and estate planning reviews to protect their assets and take advantage of new developments. Skipping periodic reviews, of forgoing the newest wealth planning techniques, can jeopardize a physician’s wealth planning, similar to how skipping routine exams, or not using the newest medical advances, can jeopardize a patient’s physical health.
Statistics suggest that every year 7.5% of physicians are subject to a malpractice claim, and about 20% of these result in a payment to the claimant. In some specialties, such a neurosurgery and heart surgery, each year nearly 20% of the practitioners are sued. A physician who is made aware of the quantum of risk is likely to be motivated to action.
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