The Professional Will: What It Is and How to Write It

Online Course Materials:    ArticlesArticles    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Co-developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D. and Nola Nordmarken, MFT, MA

General Course Description

When psychotherapists and their clients are facing abrupt or forced termination due to therapists’ sudden death, disability or other reasons that may force them to abruptly close their practices, planned terminations with clients or scheduled retirement are not possible. Having a professional will is the clinically, ethically and often legally correct thing to do.

While most therapists have a personal will and/or living trust, most do not have a professional will. This may result in unnecessary additional disruption to clients’ care and legal problems for the therapist’s estate should the therapist die unexpectedly and/or forced to unexpectedly close his/her practice.  A professional will can be prepared with a relatively small amount of time, effort and planning.

This beginning/intermediate course is comprised of one audio recording (text transcript provided) “The Professional Will” which details the reasons for the creation of a professional will, and two short articles:a “Sample Professional Will, and “Ethics Codes On Confidentiality In Regard to Therapists’ Abrupt or Unexpected Death, Disability or Closure of Practice.” This course will provide you with an easy-to-use prototype of a professional will that you can implement into your practice. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to

  • Discuss the reasons for writing a professional will.
  • Name the elements to be included in a professional will.
  • Identify the ethical responsibilities relevant to writing a professional will.

Course Syllabus:

  • Why A Professional Will is Necessary
  • Codes of Ethics on Unexpected Termination
  • Components of Professional Will
        The Executor
        Team members and their duties
        Preparing your team
        Records and security information
        Client records
        Financial records and procedures
        Client notification and communication
        Professional notification
        Disposition costs
        Attorney for professional issues
        Copies of the professional will
  • Sample of a Professional Will
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Cost: $19.00

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