Estate and will planning for doctors
M3 India Newsdesk Feb 26, 2018
Doctors lead a hectic life and this hectic life brings along unwanted stress and contingencies making it all the more important to have a strategy to protect the assets.
Doctor fraternity will advise patients about their health and life balance, but their own health and life take a backseat. And we do not mean only physical health but want to draw attention to financial health too. Doctors fail to safeguard their financial health; financial planning and estate planning are hugely neglected areas.
It is a commonly held belief that one does not need an estate plan. But it is advisable to understand that money isn’t the only reason for an estate plan. For healthcare professionals with children or dependent spouses, a solid estate plan can have many benefits. A well-thought estate plan can save time, avoid probate, reduce or eliminate estate taxes and ease the post-death transition for the surviving family members.
I have a nuclear family, why do I need an estate plan?
Talking about one's own mortality is uncomfortable for most of us. But one fails to consider the fact that contingencies arrive, well, most unexpectedly. For instance, it could be a natural disaster, accident or a terrorist attack. While most of us update our financial plans with the financial goals, we completely ignore the estate plan aspect. By just having the financial plan in place the job is only half done.
Estate planning is often considered boring, expensive or simply unnecessary by many and is put away for later. The word "estate" connotates a large property and hence "estate" planning is often misconstrued. But the fact is, every professional has an estate and substantial assets, and it consists of his home and any other real estate; his cars; money in the bank accounts and other personal possessions, even the life insurance policies.
Estate planning refers to setting a plan to decide who will inherit each of these items and when. So, making a will is crucial.
An estate plan mitigates the problems. If you fail to plan your estate then, in your absence, a plan will be made for you. Having an estate plan will put you at ease. You can continue with your life knowing that the future of your near and dear ones is safe.
Here are few common reasons why should nuclear families plan; family security, medical emergencies, children’s education, old age and retirement and providing for shelter.
Nuclear families tend to ignore certain aspects.They need to consider; sudden death, critical illness and incapacitation, separation and legal issues and formalities.
People find innovative reasons for avoiding initiating or executing an estate plan Or even writing a will. I do get a lot of reasons mostly common for not writing a will. By writing a will you are only confirming that you are a responsible individual; responsible towards your family who you love dearly.
When is a good time to begin estate planning?
The ideal time to have a will in place is as soon as one has children or as one starts to acquire significant assets. A visit to an estate planning expert by the time one reaches mid-career state is also a good idea.
A timely estate plan can have a lot of positive outcomes.
What do you think? What have you done so far with an estate plan? As a doctor, at what point in your career have you given a thought to estate planning or the first time?
Pick your reasons for not writing a will.
- I am young I don’t it need it right now
- I am not dying so soon
- My Family members won it fight
- Most of my assets are held jointly with my wife or parents
- I don’t have enough wealth
- Tedious process
- I don’t know whom to approach
- Now is too early, will do it later
- It is only for the rich
- Lawyers are expensive
- Is your job stressful?
- Do you travel – by car, bike or public or private transport?
- Have you invested in financial assets?
- Do you have young or minor children?
- Do you own an immovable property like a house?
- Do you feel life is risky, both the spouse die together, you become incapacitated?
- Have you considered how your spouse will manage your assets in your absence?
If the answer to even one of the question above is in affirmative, then that is a good reason to initiate your estate plan process and writing a will.
The article is authored by Mr. Sandeep Nerlekar, an estate planning expert based in Mumbai.
The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the writers and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the editors or publisher of the website. Readers are advised to exercise their own judgment while using the content.
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