What Does Professional Liability Have To Do With Estate Planning? Plenty!

Blog Post by Janel Chin

At Matrium Law Group we hope to help as many people as possible ensure that when they pass away, their estate is handled as they would want.  If you are a professional you undoubtedly spent many years receiving the education and training necessary to practice your profession competently.  You undoubtedly face some legal risks in practicing your profession.  Be sure that your family is not burdened with the cost and stress of a guilty malpractice verdict after you die.  While most professionals, particularly doctors, are aware that malpractice insurance is a must to protect their investment and ability to practice, many do not check with their insurance carrier to ensure that the coverage they have adequately protects them.  For instance many policies do not include ‘tail’ insurance.  What this means is that if, for instance, a doctor dies before a statute of limitation has run, a former patient can sue the doctor’s estate and leave his or her family to defend the claims.  Even meritless claims can be quite expensive and time consuming to defend.  Even if the doctor did not have notice of the claim prior to his or her death, their estate can be held liable.  A comprehensive insurance policy includes ‘tail’ coverage to handle the legal costs of defending a malpractice claim after a professional has retired or died.  As any knowledgeable insurance agent will tell you geographic location, practice setting and area of specialty all affect how much coverage is needed.  Be sure that your family inherits your estate free of any malpractice claims of medical error, omission, breach of duty, mistake or negligence that someone might allege against you.  All professionals engaged in high-risk professions should check with their malpractice insurance carrier to ensure that you are covered for any incident that occurs while your policy is in force.   Please contact Janel Chin at Matrium Law Group at 406.207.6462 or janel@matriumlaw.com for more information on the unique estate planning challenges faced by many professionals.