Physician Finance and Asset Management: Wills and Foreign Bank Accounts

willandtrustThe following is some information about wills and foreign bank accounts that should not be misconstrued as financial advice, since I am not a certified financial planner, accountant, or attorney.  Discussions regarding the information presented should be directed towards a qualified attorney or accountant in order to make well-informed decisions.

Asset Management: Wills and Trusts

Evaluating appropriate plans for your estate upon your death can be a large part of your physician financial planning for assets, while you are alive.  A will and trust provides a number of positive attributes to your planning initiatives, beginning with a proclamation of your assets, and the declaration of how they are to be divided upon death of the individual.

With so much on your plate already, it makes sense for any physician – no matter how large or small their practice – to commission a respected attorney to draft your will and trust professionally.  Employing a lawyer will also ensure the legitimacy of the paperwork, while delivering a no-nonsense explanation of how your assets should be divided amongst your family, friends, or as a donation to a lifelong supported charity.


Items that will appear in the will include, but are not limited to:


• Practice Ownership Rights

• Checking, Savings and Investment Accounts

• Physical Assets such as Gold, Silver or Jewelry

• Real Estate

• Vehicles

• Personal Property


The will can include every asset that is part of your makeup, including your favorite baseball hat, if you are so inclined.  It also provides the living with specific instructions on how you would like to proceed in death by outlining funeral arrangements, and burial spaces (if applicable).  Not only does a will and trust provide its drafter with the freedom of knowing his or her wishes will be carried out successfully, but it also leaves little room for arguing within the ranks of those on the receiving end.  These disputes can be avoided with proper planning.  One of the biggest mistakes made when creating a will is not properly completing the beneficiary designation.  You will need to make sure that you are able to leave your estate to those that you decide, as opposed to being decided by probate.


When a trust is created, it is held by one party as a protector and assigned to another party once they have met all of the requirements outlined in the trust.  This means that you can decide whether a child is to be of a certain age before they can receive an allocation of funds, or that they only receive a certain amount at a particular time, which is then distributed by the trust directly in your absence.  Wills and trusts provide the testator with peace of mind and direct control in their asset management, even after death.  It is critical that assets be re-titled to be held in the revocable trust, otherwise the trust is useless.

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Asset Management:  Foreign Banking and Investing


There are a number of benefits in placing your money outside of the United States and allowing it to grow in emerging markets.  Physician investing opportunities include offshore markets that provide exceptional physician financial planning instruments.  The security and stability of foreign banking is delivered through competitive interest rates.  Do keep in mind that you may only place up to $10,000 in a foreign bank per year without having to report it to the US government.  If the amount exceeds $10,000, you must file form TD F 90 – 22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.  As a notable aside, the new FATCA legislation is likely going to prevent the ability of individuals to shelter funds overseas.  Thus, although this investment of funds is not the tax saving opportunity it may have been in the past, it is still an excellent method of diversification.


Emerging markets and technological breakthroughs are readily available through foreign bank accounts.  You are able to diversify in other opportunities besides US companies or traditional investment vehicles, which lessens the doctor’s financial ratio in the US stock market.  Stepping outside the US market is a viable alternative and should be considered.  The topic of foreign currency investment is a hot item these days with the looming possibility that the dollar might be set up to fall sharply.  A foreign banking account can help to facilitate such investments rather smoothly.



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Asset Management

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