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    Death and the dental practice

    No one likes to think about it, but do you have a plan in place if the unexpected happens?


    Rent is required, as are almost all of the fixed expenses of the dental practice such as payments on equipment, utilities and other operating costs.

    The value of the dental practice is most likely at its highest about the time that the passing of the dentist occurs. As the expenses continue and the gross revenue decreases, the practice value will drop precipitously. It is critical for the surviving spouse and the estate to sell the practice as quickly as possible if there are no professionals to step in to keep the revenue anywhere near its high point prior to the dentist’s death.

    Find an expert

    The widow or widower probably has no idea of the intricacies in running the practice. Finding a dentist to hire to continue the practice’s operations will be a very difficult task. The surviving spouse will be at a loss as to what steps to take to preserve what ever value is possible. If at all possible, the dental CPA is the best person for the estate to contact to assist in keeping the practice in the best position so that a transition can occur with the least financial damage. The dental CPA can help to find an honest broker to aid in selling the practice. The continued operations can be at the highest level with the dental CPA using his or her contacts to secure the continuity of the practice while the practice is being marketed for sale.

    Related article: Why due diligence is essential when it comes time to sell your practice

    In the event there is no relationship with a dental CPA, a practice broker should be contacted. The potential for the estate lawyer to assist is the next option. Unfortunately, most attorneys have little to no background in working with dentists, so relationships by the lawyer with dental professionals may be limited.

    The key to maximizing value

    For the estate to maximize its value from the sale of the dental practice, the old adage of “the sooner the better,” is an absolute must. Every day that goes by creates a loss in value to the practice without a revenue producer.

    Bruce Bryen, CPA, CVA
    Bruce Bryen is a certified public accountant with over 40 years of experience and is a part of RKG Tax & Business Services LLP, an ...


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