Estate Planning for Attorneys and Doctors

7:00 pm Estate Planning

estate planning image 284x250 150x150 Estate Planning for Attorneys and Doctors An article in an American Bar Association newsletter serves to remind attorneys that when it comes to estate planning, they need to heed their own advice (and that of their peers who practice estate planning law) or they could be doing themselves and their clients a grave disservice.

Contrary to popular belief, lawyers are people, too, and no one likes to think about mental incapacity or death.  But the first sometimes happens…and the second is a certainty.  Attorneys have a professional and ethical duty to protect their clients’ interests at all times…including times of death or disability.

The newsletter provides these tips for attorneys in preparing their estate plans:

  • Make arrangements for a lawyer or law firm to continue, close, or transfer your practice on your behalf. Some malpractice insurers require that a sole practitioner have such an arrangement in place.
  • Have the appropriate powers of attorney in place so that the assisting lawyer(s) can step in to run your practice. They will need to be able to sign checks, handle the interest on lawyers trust accounts (IOLTA), manage employees, and generally conduct business on your behalf. Consider having a limited power of attorney specifically for the lawyer who will take over as successor.
  • Consider naming at least one executor in your will who is a lawyer to be charged with the responsibility of selling or closing the practice.
  • Maintain an easily understandable system of client records to help the successor lawyer to carry out his or her responsibilities.
  • Review the choice of entity for the practice with an eye to liability protection and income tax results for the owners.
  • Create rules to regulate any conflict of interest.
  • Make sure there are appropriate protections in place for client confidentiality.
  • Ensure you have estate planning strategies in place to protect personal assets from professional liability.

Help is available to you by contacting your Southern California financial planning experts today.

One Response

  1. Rodney P. Eady Says:

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