Asset Protection for Doctors
For most medical professionals, it is a matter of “when” you will be sued and not “if” you will be sued. Unfortunately, they don’t teach about Asset Protection in medical school and as result many medical professionals are leaving themselves exposed to a potentially devastating lawsuit.
When creating an Asset Protection plan for physicians, dentists, and chiropractors we recommend the following Asset Protection tools.
1. Malpractice Insurance
We recommend most of our client maintain their malpractice coverage even after they have created an asset protection plan, however, malpractice insurance alone does not provide sufficient protection in today’s highly litigious society. Malpractice is a helpful component of an asset protection plan but it is not a replacement for an asset protection plan.
2. Single Member Limited Liability Company
We strongly recommend that any physician or doctor who owns their own practice should form a single member Limited Liability Company. A single member Limited Liability Company standing alone does not provide Asset Protection, but it does greatly reduce your liability exposure. When integrated into a full asset protection plan, a Limited Liability Company does provide Asset Protection.
3. Up to Date and Customized Employee Handbook
If you are a doctor and run your own practice, you are three times more like be sued by an employee than by a patient. Having an up to date and customized employee handbook can eliminate employment lawsuits.
4. Multimember Limited Liability Company
The heart of your asset protection plan should be your multimember Limited Liability Company. By placing your assets into a multimember Limited Liability Company, you will maintain full control over distributions. By having your property owned by a multimember Limited Liability Company, you will reduce or eliminate the economic incentive for an attorney to continue to pursue their client’s case. However, if a case is pursued and a creditor attaches to your property, you can withhold distributions, all the while paying yourself a salary and the creditor is responsible for paying taxes on the multimember Limited Liability Company. The protections afforded by a multimember Limited Liability Company can enable you to negotiate a settlement, that is on your terms.
5. The Bridge Trust™
Finally, the backbone of your asset protection plan should be The Bridge Trust™. In the event that tools 1 through 4 (above) are insufficient to protect your property, The Bridge Trust™ allows you to place your assets beyond the reach of the U.S. court system. By removing your assets from the reach of the U.S. court system, you have eliminated any economic incentive for a U.S. attorney to continue to pursue the claim against you.
These five tools have been used repeatedly by doctors, dentist, and chiropractors to protect their wealth and enable them to focus on serving their clients.
If you are a medical professional and want to protect yourself from lawsuits, please give us a call today at 720-924-6171.