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

1 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $19.00

Co-developed by Nola Nordmarken, M.A., and Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

This course includes materials consisting of:

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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.

This brief course details the reasons for the creation of a professional will, outlines what should be included, provides a sample of a prototype of a professional will and gives additional online and other resources. 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.

This course will provide you with an easy-to-use prototype of a professional will that you can implement into your practice. A professional will can be prepared with a relatively small amount of time, effort and planning. The course is comprised of two short articles: "The Professional Will" and "Ethics Codes On Confidentiality In Regard to Therapists' Abrupt or Unexpected Death, Disability or Closure of Practice."

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Discuss the reasons for writing a professional will.

2.    Name the elements to be included in a professional will.

3.    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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