Sound business planning is essential for professionals, and sound estate planning is essential for their loved ones. If you are starting up a dental practice or buying an established practice, take your planning questions and concerns to a Raleigh business planning attorney.

If you start up a practice or buy an existing dental practice, a variety of questions must be answered. How many assistants and hygienists will you need? What about associates? How many employees will you need to greet patients, set appointments, and process the paperwork?

You will also need to market your new dental practice. For starters, that means determining who your clients might be and how to attract them to your practice. Typically, for the first three to five years, five to ten percent of a dental practice’s expenditures are marketing expenditures.

How Can a Dentist Save Time and Have Peace of Mind?

Dentists keep demanding schedules, but a North Carolina business planning attorney can save you time and give you peace of mind. A business planning lawyer can help you reach your professional goals, protect your assets, and plan effectively for your practice and your family.

When you work for decades to pay a student loan, build a flourishing dental practice, and raise a family, you must protect those accomplishments. You can’t allow a malpractice claim, a dispute with a partner, a divorce, or an economic downturn to threaten everything you have worked for.

What Kinds of Planning are Essential for Dentists?

For a dentist, the need for an effective asset protection plan is self-evident. If your loved ones are counting on you, estate planning is also imperative. Every dentist needs business and estate planning advice, but the right planning strategies and answers will be personalized and unique.

When dentists are sued by creditors, by allegedly injured patients, or for any other reason, if the practice’s assets cannot satisfy the claim, a claimant’s lawyer may go after your personal assets, but that will be difficult or impossible if the right attorney is helping you protect those assets.

What Insurance Will a Dental Practice Need?

Asset protection begins by carrying the right type and amount of insurance. A dental practice should consider insurance for professional liability, vicarious liability, general liability, licensing coverage, disciplinary defense coverage, and property and casualty coverage.

Property and casualty coverage will protect the physical location and any real estate that your practice owns as well as equipment, products, and any other property of value. Before you buy a specific policy or set of policies for your dental practice, be sure that you know what is covered.

The best property and casualty policies cover almost all of your risks and offer protection for a wide range of unpredictable and unanticipated events – including crimes and natural disasters – that can suddenly strike a dental practice or any other business.

Why is Planning and Preparation So Important?

Thoughtful planning and preparation can set the stage for a bright future for your dental practice – and for your loved ones. Starting up a new dental practice or buying a practice can be a gratifying and positive experience if you do the right research and plan your practice carefully.

When you start or buy a dental practice, talk with established dentists and other advisers you trust. Secure the best financing available, keep a good credit rating and a debt load that is manageable, stay on budget, and be patient. You already know that success takes time.

Different business models require different strategies to avoid risk, so your business planning attorney should have experience at planning practices for professionals like you. Your business planning lawyer will identify areas of potential risk and make the appropriate recommendations.

A Raleigh business planning attorney can also review the contracts, forms, and other documents that you are using to ensure that they are still compliant with current laws and regulations, or your attorney can create new contracts and forms that meet your dental practice’s current needs.

When and How Should You Review Your Business Plan?

If you have any concerns regarding the potential liabilities of your dental practice, legal compliance, or asset protection, a business planning attorney can meet with you to discuss effective business planning strategies and develop a long-term business plan that is right for you.

It is also a good idea to review your business plan with your attorney at regular intervals. If you have not reached some of your professional goals, you can renew your efforts. If you have reached most of your goals, it may be time to set new goals for the next years of your practice.

Your business plan for your dental practice should spell out objectives that are precise and measurable. For example, “Grow the practice” is not a plan. “Grow the practice by ten percent over the next three years” is better – a plan that gives you something specific to strive for.

What Does It Take to Create a Good Estate Plan?

When you’re satisfied that your practice and its assets are secure, make sure that your family and personal assets are secure too. Let a Raleigh estate planning attorney work with you to create detailed estate planning documents that unambiguously express your choices and wishes.

The details of your estate plan will depend on your personal, financial, and family circumstances. While there is every reason to begin planning your estate immediately – after all, no one knows what tomorrow may bring – proper estate planning cannot be rushed or hurried.

Good estate planning requires thoughtfulness, consideration, and at least several consultations with the right estate planning lawyer. For practicing dentists and other professionals, good estate planning is a great deal more complicated than drafting a simple will, and it takes more time.

What Gets in the Way of Good Estate Planning?

The biggest enemy of good estate planning is procrastination. Many dentists launch the estate planning process but never follow through. Trusts can be left unfunded, wills can be left unsigned, and as a result, unnecessary estate taxes may have to be paid. Do not let that happen.

The right estate planning attorney will help you create an estate plan which will ensure that your instructions are carried out faithfully and with minimal legal and tax interference.

If you already have an estate plan in place, ask a Raleigh estate planning lawyer to review it and to make certain that it’s up-to-date and that it spells out what are still your wishes and instructions.