The article suggests the use of a revocable living trust as a way to address the drawbacks of the probate process. While this may be a stop-gap measure for further erosion of remaining asset values in the practice, a more important aspect to consider is the planning of a comprehensive exit strategy in advance. We often receive phone calls from relatives of recently deceased physicians who are looking to dispose of the remaining practice assets. In most cases it is difficult, if not impossible to find a buyer. It is imperative for older physicians to think about exit planning far in advance even if thoughts of retirement or mortality are unpleasant. Selling the practice outright is one solution. Bringing on an partner/associate and negotiating a buy-out plan in advance is another option. These are steps which can help to preserve some of the goodwill value of the practice and avoid a fire-sale situation in the event of death or incapacity.
Written by Christopher Majdi