How to protect your dental practice in your estate plan

| Apr 25, 2019 | Estate Planning

Many people think estate planning is more important for the ultra-wealthy. But anyone with assets, whether they be a business, real estate, or valuable collectibles, should create a plan that outlines their wishes. This is especially true for dentists, many of whom are solo practitioners or partial owners of their practice.

Keep reading to learn the essential points of estate planning for dental professionals.

Plan for business succession

Dentists nearing retirement might start considering a business succession plan, but most should have a plan in place at all points in their career. Life is full of unexpected twists, and unfortunately, death is sometimes one of them. Whether you create a disclaimer trust or an estate package covering how you want your share of your practice dispensed, make sure to have a plan.

Non-dentists may take over the business for one year

Although someone who lacks the proper licensing generally cannot practice dentistry, California law does provide mechanisms to ease the transition when a dentist dies and leaves their practice behind. California’s Business and Professions Code allows a legal guardian, conservator, or executor of the estate of a dentist to run the dental practice for up to one year after the dentist dies or becomes incapacitated. But, they must sell the practice by the time the one-year grace period expires.

Create a plan that meets your goals

Protecting essential assets starts with a plan. Consult with an estate planning professional to learn your options for protecting your dental practice. They can help you examine your goals and create an estate plan to match.