Church of the Redeemer Sarasota, located in
downtown Sarasota FL

The Importance of Professional Will Writing

Professionals often focus all of their attention on building their practice, but little thought is given to winding it down. A professional will identifies a person to take responsibility for a therapist’s practice in the event of incapacity or death, and can ease the burden on loved ones who may not know how to handle client records, ongoing appointments and billing matters.

While a professional will does not replace a will, it should be coordinated with one, especially if a trust or other special arrangement is used for holding and managing assets. A professional will should also be reviewed periodically to ensure that it is up-to-date and still reflects the therapist’s wishes.

A professional will is a legal document naming a person to professional will writing make decisions and take actions with respect to a therapist’s professional practice in the event of incapacity, or upon death. It provides that the person designated in the professional will (also known as an executor) can access all records, files and data related to the therapist’s private practice including patient charts and appointment scheduling information. It also identifies those who will have access to the professional’s bank accounts and credit cards, and specifies compensation for services rendered to the estate.

Ideally, the professional will should be drafted by an attorney who specialises in estate planning. However, most people do not have access to an attorney. Instead, they can use online services that provide legal assistance for a small fee. Some of these services even offer live consultations with an attorney.

The most important component of a professional will is the identification of a designated person to take charge of the therapist’s business in the event of incapacity or the therapist’s death. It is vital to choose a trusted, reliable and competent person. This person should be able to communicate effectively, work in a team environment and deal with sensitive issues.

It is also a good idea to include in the professional will a list of colleagues who should be notified immediately. This might include co-leads of therapy groups, supervision groups or family sessions and those who have signed documentation indicating their informed consent to release their contact information and access to their client charts.

Lastly, a professional will should specify how the executor is to be compensated for his or her time and effort in enacting the professional will. This can be a flat rate, hourly, or some other approach. The professional will can also state that the executor is not to be paid anything, or declines compensation and instead gives a gift to a charity of his or her choice.

Misinterpretation is a common cause of will disputes and a mistake in a simple word or phrase can have catastrophic consequences. Professional will writers will eliminate the risk of this by making sure that the language in the professional will is clear and free from error. They will also ensure that the document complies with all legal requirements and that it has been properly witnessed.

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