Professional Dental Practice Planning
When you are beginning a dental practice plan, purchasing a dental practice, or altering an existing one, there are numerous considerations, concerns, and questions to consider. It can be overwhelming, especially for a professional who already has a demanding schedule. At NC Planning, we want to help ease the burden by assisting you in assembling a well-designed, individualized plan for your business. We have experience providing planning advice and strategic, actionable guidance to all types of business and medical professionals. Your successes and your future are important to us, and we want to help you execute the goals you have and protect the accomplishments you’ve worked for, and we have real, concrete plans to help do just that.
Asset Protection Plans for Dental Professionals
Dentists work many years to pay off their student loans and start accumulating wealth. Many of our dental clients have concerns about malpractice claims or other lawsuits being asserted against them and the potential of losing what they have worked so hard for during their careers.
At NC Planning, one of our common focuses for dental clients is asset protection. While every client’s situation is unique, there are several common strategies that may be appropriate to implement for asset protection when it comes to dental professionals.
We evaluate our client’s non-exempt assets which are subject to creditor claims and determine whether it is appropriate to convert any of those non-exempt assets into assets that are exempt from creditor claims. One component evaluated under this strategy is the ownership of a home.
In North Carolina, when a piece of property is held by a married couple jointly with rights of survivorship, it is held as “tenants by the entirety.” If the property is held as tenants by the entirety, there are additional protections that dictate that creditors of one spouse may not take the property to satisfy the debt of just that one spouse. As such, for your homestead, we only need to worry about creditors that may have a claim against both of you jointly. For example, if both parties individually are co-guarantors on a loan or mortgage.
Many types of insurance are exempt from creditors’ claims. As such, dental professionals often elect to purchase insurance that favors loved ones and family members to ensure that individuals left behind are well taken care of after the passing of the dental professional. Our firm has worked with individual practice owners to maximize the asset protection of insurance companies. This is a strategized approach that can also have extensive tax benefits.
Investing in Your Children’s Future
There are also certain types of qualified retirement accounts that are exempt from creditor claims. Significant tax benefits can arise with this strategy. 529 Plans, a type of investment plan focused on tuition, are also commonly used as a tool to ensure wealth will be passed on to loved ones while avoiding creditor claims.
We closely evaluate the structure of our client’s overall plan and determine whether it is advantageous to add additional business entities or trusts to their existing plans. Creating these separate entities can allow for a separation of certain personal assets from business assets to allow for greater limited liability protection.
The Unfortunate, But Preventable, Truth
Commonly, if company assets are insufficient to satisfy potential claims of creditors, which is often the case in a lawsuit, a claimant’s attorney will try to access the personal assets of the business owner. This is just a reality to be aware of, as well as another important reason to add supplementary protections for your personal assets. Not every instance in life is preventable, but your dental practice, your livelihood, and your personal property can be made more secure by seeking guidance from a knowledgeable team.
Let NC Planning Help Provide Peace of Mind
If you have any concerns regarding potential liabilities to which you may be exposed, then our team of dental attorneys at NC Planning would be happy to meet with you to discuss the strategies above, and many others, even further. Careful planning and preparedness can go a long way to ensuring a safer future for your business. We develop an individualized asset protection plan for each of our clients and are motivated and determined to find a game-plan that is appropriate for you. Please call us today at (919) 568-3681, and let us help you, your family, and your business.