We Help Businesses Navigate the Estate Considerations When a Physician Dies in California
When a still-practicing doctor passes away, it will cause serious complications for their business. It is imperative that physicians who own a professional practice have a proper business estate plan in place. Lynnette Ariathurai is an experienced business lawyer for medical practices. Our firm provides solutions-focused legal representation to clients. If you have any questions about estate considerations when a doctor dies, we are here to help. Contact our Fremont law office today for a strictly confidential consultation with a California business lawyer for medical practices.
Why It Matters: Death of Doctor Will Radically Alter the Course of a Business
Of course, estate planning is key for personal reasons. A well-planned estate can help make things easier for family and other loved ones. For doctors who own their own practice in California, there are also major business considerations. The unexpected death of a doctor can send shockwaves through a medical practice. Addressing these challenges requires a proactive and well-developed estate plan for the business.
California Law Requires Medical Professionals to Own/Operate a Medical Practice
In California, the ownership and operation of a medical practice are strictly regulated. Under the state’s Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act, only licensed professionals can own and manage a medical corporation. In other words, heirs or estate executors without medical licenses cannot directly continue the operations of the deceased doctor’s practice on their own. It is crucial that there is a plan in place for another doctor—whether a doctor already in the practice or a doctor who owns a separate practice—to assume control of the business.
A Buy-Sell Agreement is a Key Estate Planning Tool for Protection of the Business
One essential estate planning tool for doctors in California is the buy-sell agreement. This legally binding contract details the process for the remaining partners or specified individuals to purchase the deceased’s interest in the business. It can set the valuation method for the practice, ensure there is a source of funding, and put other conditions in place for a potential sale or transfer.
California Law Requires Notification of Patients by a Successor-in-Interest
When a doctor passes away, their patients’ continuity of care is a paramount concern. California law mandates that within 30 days of the doctor’s death, a notification must be sent to patients by the successor-in-interest or the person who takes responsibility for the business. The notification should provide basic guidance for patients for obtaining their medical records, finding alternative care providers, and/or transferring their care to another medical practice.
Estate Considerations are Complicated: How a Business Attorney Can Help
Business planning is complicated—especially when it comes to estate considerations after a doctor has passed away. An experienced business law firm helps clients put proactive business estate plans in place for their medical practices—including buy-sell agreements. We offer business law guidance to medical practices that are already dealing with the unexpected passing of a doctor.
Contact Our California Business Lawyer for Doctors
Lynnette Ariathurai is a top California business lawyer with extensive experience working with medical practices. Have questions about estate considerations after a doctor’s passing? We are here as a resource. Contact us today for your confidential initial consultation. We help medical practices with business-related estate planning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.