You’ve dedicated your career to saving and improving lives through medicine – working tirelessly through years of training to hone specialized skills that help heal and care for those in need.

Yet, in focusing so intensely on your patients, it’s easy to overlook critical personal financial planning that protects both your hard-earned wealth and the family legacy you hope to leave behind.

With higher earnings comes greater vulnerability to lawsuits, tax burdens, and other threats that can quickly erode assets. Securing your family’s future, however, rarely aligns with a busy physician’s bandwidth.

That’s why at Stivers Law, we guide and support high-net-worth medical professionals. By coordinating your advisory team and overseeing wealth management strategies, we alleviate stresses around asset protection, tax minimization, and future transitions—empowering you to practice medicine with renewed peace of mind.

Why Estate Planning Truly Matters for Doctors

Estate planning involves more than just a basic will. Done thoughtfully, it allows you to:

  • Protect and retain control over your accumulated wealth
  • Reduce taxes that could diminish transfers to your beneficiaries
  • Define healthcare decisions if injury or illness incapacitates you

As a physician, you likely have substantial assets – retirement accounts, real estate, investments, insurance payouts. Without strategic planning, disputes could arise, and assets may not transfer efficiently to your desired heirs after you’re gone.

Incapacity planning is equally important. No one likes to consider losing decision-making capacity due to health issues like Alzheimer’s. But having clearly defined contingency plans in place ahead of time brings peace of mind.

The bottom line – with customized strategies to optimize wealth transfer and address incapacity scenarios, you can retain control over what happens to your assets. This ensures your family’s protection long after you’re gone. Proper planning makes trying conversations easier, knowing your beneficiaries will be taken care of.

Getting Your Estate in Order: Key Legal Documents

Where do you start?

These fundamental estate planning tools establish control and continuity:

  • Last Will and Testament: Outlines exactly how and to whom your assets should be distributed upon death. Allows you to choose guardians for minor children.
  • Living Will: Provides written instructions for your preferences regarding end-of-life medical treatments when you can’t communicate decisions.
  • Power of Attorney: Gives someone you trust authority to handle financial, legal, and other matters if you become incapacitated.
  • Trusts: Help manage how and when beneficiaries inherit assets, avoid probate, and minimize estate taxes to transfer wealth efficiently.
  • Healthcare Surrogate: Designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. Outlines any specific preferences to guide them.

Planning for Possible Incapacity

While unpleasant to consider, the reality is over 50% of adults will experience some period of incapacity before death.

Let’s discuss how you can maintain control even if seriously ill, injured, or impacted by cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Give your spouse or other trusted person Power of Attorney so they can handle finances in your absence.
  • Create a Healthcare Surrogate to manage care decisions if debilitated.
  • Use a Living Will to share written wishes guiding treatments.

Be sure to convey your intentions regarding your medical practice as well if impacted by incapacity.

Passing Down a Medical Practice

For physician business owners, you’ve invested heavily in building your practice. You want assurance it will remain viable and help support your family after you’re gone.

Strategies like buy-sell agreements can confirm a smooth, gradual transition of your practice:

  • Implement a funded buy-sell agreement establishing terms of future practice transfer. This creates an obligation for a willing buyer.
  • Specify your wishes for passing on your practice in your will and estate plan.
  • Groom the next generation and leadership well before retirement by mentoring associates.

Assembling Your Advisory Team of Subject Matter Experts

Creating an estate plan requires blending input from attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, and other experts. This guidance must balance distributing your assets, protecting your wealth, and cementing your charitable legacy.

Typically, doctors have to coordinate these specialists on their own. This can lead to an inefficient, disjointed process with critical gaps.

Our firm serves as your quarterback instead. We take the time to understand your needs and goals. We then hand-pick a team of advisors who collaborate seamlessly to serve you.

By overseeing everyone’s efforts, we ensure all aspects of your estate plan fit together logically. This saves you time and hassle. You can stay focused on patients while we focus on the complex details of preserving your family’s prosperity. Our hands-on coordination creates a tailored plan where nothing important falls through the cracks.

Safeguarding Your Life’s Work Starts With Strategic Asset Protection

As a doctor, you face an increased risk of lawsuits – even frivolous ones. So a main goal is shielding your personal assets from potential legal attacks.

The right tools can help if set up strategically for your situation. Trusts, partnerships, and corporate entities can provide liability protection.

If you own a practice, transitioning it into a well-structured professional corporation or LLC insulates you further. We guide you in formally documenting buy-sell agreements that dictate practice transfers when you retire or pass away.

For protecting personal wealth, discretionary trusts can be firewalls preventing bogus lawsuits from tapping your heirs’ rightful inheritance. But they still allow access to genuine needs if thoughtfully crafted.

The bottom line – with the right proactive strategy tailored to you, your hard-earned assets stay safe while still benefiting your family’s future when you retire or are gone. We make this planning a priority.

Tax Optimization Strategies Are Critical to Maximizing Generational Wealth

As you prepare to retire and transfer assets, there is a critical window for either losing wealth to unnecessary taxes or protecting your family’s prosperity through strategic planning.

Carefully timed strategies can make a big difference. Our tax and legal teams analyze all options for minimizing taxes legally, including specific trusts and asset transfers to your heirs.

For example, we look at selling appreciated assets like a medical practice at reduced valuations before handing ownership to your children. This allows more wealth to flow tax-free rather than depleted.

In documents like wills and trusts, we also engineer upfront who inherits what and when. This way, less gets diverted to estate taxes, and more remains enriching the family for generations vs. just Uncle Sam.

Addressing Your All Planning Needs Under One Roof

As a physician, you are already juggling a full workload running your businesses. Finding time to also map out personal finances and legacy plans for later years is tough. That’s precisely why our law firm exists.

At Stivers Law, we become your partner and coordinator to tackle complicated financial decisions on your behalf. Think of us as a pit crew, assembling the right financial planners, tax pros, investment advisors, and legal guides to optimize your situation.

Together, we create customized roadmaps designed specifically to:

  • Legally minimize taxes so more wealth transfers to your kids and causes you care about
  • Shift around concentrated stock positions to balance risk and returns
  • Guide transitions when you retire to ensure the business remains in good hands
  • Set up charitable legacies built to last for generations to come

If any part of planning for your family’s future has you stressed out and losing sleep, let us shoulder that burden. We’ll work closely with your whole team to map out a plan so you can focus on today, knowing tomorrow is handled.