Who Can Sign Your Checks?

Whether you are incorporated or are sole proprietor, your spouse should be signatory to your business checking account.

Whether you are incorporated or are sole proprietor, your spouse should be signatory to your business checking account.

Sudden, unexpected death can come to anyone. If you are in solo practice and die without warning, a locums can be found to cover, but the best way to save your practice is if someone else can pay the bills.

I was able to sell the practice of a deceased physician because his wife could sign the company checks.

The doctor treated patients until 4:00 p.m. on Friday. At 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, he went to the hospital.At noon he was dead. The family called me in to evaluate the practice and try to sell it. We found a local physician who had just left a practice. We began discussions about buying the practice. He was very skeptical. I told him we would pay the overhead and he could keep the fees if he covered the practice for 2 weeks so he could see the value for himself.

I could only make that offer because the wife could pay the bills.

At the end of the first week, the physician called me and said, “I’ll take it. It’s worth more than you are asking, just as you said.” The deal was done.

The patients continued receiving care, and the widow was able to make ends meet.

Lesson: Although one physician cannot truly replace another, the practice can continue if the bills are kept current.