Having a Professional Will

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2019

This is Dave Kats and I have a tip for you. 

 You know I believe every therapist should have a professional will. Now a professional will is not a legal document, it's just some paper you make up that talk about how to handle your practice in the event of your death. And I should tell you that the person that is the custodian of this will or executes this will should be another professional, not your family. You don't want to lean on your family in this time when they have lost you. So you want to have another professional be the executor of your will. Now there are several things you should have in the professional will. If you're a client, you should go to our forms page on our client website and download the professional will template, and then just fill that template out and you'll be done. If you're not a client, you'll have to create a professional will from scratch. But these are the things you should have in either case. So let's look at them. The first thing you need to do is you have to have a professional executor, in other words, another therapist that's going to take care of your practice and dispose of it or transfer it, however it's going to happen, upon your death. The next thing you need to do is to make a list of the patients that need to be contacted in the event of your death. The third thing you need to do is you need to tell your family where your professional will is located. The fourth thing you need to do is you need to give your family the name of the professional executor, in other words, you have a therapist that's going to handle your estate, your professional will estate, in the event of your death. And you give the family his or her name and phone number. Then you need to meet with your professional executor and show them around the office, and show them where everything important is held, and give them the passwords and usernames, things like that. And by the way, I would sign a business associate agreement with these people. The next thing you need to do is to show them where they can locate important documents like your license and your malpractice insurance, and of course your personal will. Then, you have to get a list of colleagues together that you want your executor to contact in the event of your death. And then the list of insurance companies you want that executor to contact in the case of your death. And then you have to leave instructions upon how to get into and change your answering machine or your answering service so you can inform people that the practice isn't open right now. You need to leave specific instructions on little things like how to open the front door and how to set the security system, things like that. There's a few more, you should leave specific instructions whether you want your patients to know about your death and want to attend your funeral or not. You should make copies of this professional will and give one copy at least to your executor and one copy to different people in your family that would contact the executor in the event of your death. And then you should review your professional will regularly because some things will change on this as time goes on. The last thing I would say about the professional will is make sure that in all the things you do in transferring all these things that you remain HIPPA compliant so that there's no HIPPA violations as you transfer your practice after you're no longer around. So, not a very exciting and happy thing to think about on this video, but something that needs to be done so that you'll be professional and build your practice in the right way.

This is Dave Kats, thanks for listening.

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