15 September 2014
Too many lawyers spend the first several years of their careers focused almost exclusively on growing and developing their practice. They often forget to think about the “what if’s” in life. How can you protect and provide for your family and yourself if the unthinkable occurs and you can no longer work?
We were speaking recently with some friends at Fry Group Belgium, financial planners for lawyers, who reminded us that many lawyers, distracted as they are by the day-to-day demands of the practice of law, tend not to think about such things – until it is too late.
We asked Craig Rimmer at Fry Group to send us his key points. Here they are:
“As a lawyer you look to minimise legal risk for your clients, but how do you minimise financial risk for yourself and your family? Income protection and life insurance are two things that can help you do so. It is important to review this as a high priority because, simply put, if you cannot work you cannot bill, and if you cannot bill you won’t get paid!
“It may be that you have nothing in place or that what you do have is insufficient to cover your needs.
“Whether you are an ‘independent’ or you have your own SPRL/BVBA you have the advantage of being able to deduct any insurance premiums that you pay against your taxes (i.e., premiums are paid from your gross income). It is the Belgian government’s way of incentivising the self-employed to look after themselves.
“No one expects to be incapacitated, but we also know that, statistically speaking, it can happen that you fall off a bike or have a car accident or become seriously ill. It is likely that you are aware that something like this has happened to someone you know.
“We suggest that, to the extent you have not already done so, you set up as soon as possible a plan of protection for your income to ensure that you are financially protected if ever you become unable to work.”
We think that this is very good advice and well worth heeding. If this is of interest to you let us know and we can put you in touch with Craig. Working closely with you, he can determine what income level needs to be protected based on current income and estimate future needs.