Lis Hughes, Managing Director at Frank Taylor & Associates explains more….
Over the past few months we have dealt with a number of dentists or their families during bereavement or serious illness and it became apparent all of the families would have been much better prepared if a few simple things had been implemented in advance.
1. No matter how old or young you are – you really should have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. For those who do not know, it is a document which is registered with the Court of Protection and enables your chosen trustees to make decisions on your behalf (medical or financial – there are two forms). Once registered, the LPA remains in place until you either amend or replace it. Whatever you do, please do not say, I won’t need one of those. We recently had to deal with a dental practice where the young principal had been injured in a catastrophic motor accident and left with brain damage. His wife and young children are having to deal with personal and financial issues and without a LPA in place this has proven to be very difficult.
2. Get a Will, plain and simple – for all of the above reasons (and keep it with the LPA you have registered).
3. Review an existing Will – a Will should be reviewed once a year. Sadly, over the Christmas period a dentist died unexpectedly and his wife found the Will they had written together many years ago. The Will had not been signed and was still in draft form. Her solicitors confirmed it had never been finalised and she then had to apply for Probate which will take time and was the last thing she wanted to face at such a difficult time.
4. Check your Life Insurance and Critical Illness policies – if you don’t have this cover, please seriously consider it. If you do have the cover, then review it – this should be an annual occurrence just like reviewing your Will.
5. If you have a NHS GDS Contract in your sole name – enter into a nominal partnership with another dentist. Why, because if you should die then the chances are your LAT will not agree for the contract to be transferred to another dentist and your family or your estate will see no benefit from this.
And, for all of the above reasons do it now!
Yes, there will be a cost to implement all of the above; however, there will be a much greater cost if you don’t. If you want to discuss any of the above, please give us a call.