The Professional Will

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.


For our Professional Will: What It Is and How to Write It course (1 CE Credit Hour)



  • The Professional Will is the document all therapists should have prepared for the unfortunate case of unexpected or forced termination of their practices.
  • Preparing a professional will serves to protect us, psychotherapists, ourselves, our estate or significant others in case of therapist’s sudden death or disability or unexpected-forced closure of practice.
  • Preparing a professional will for psychotherapists in solo private practice, in most cases, is neither a complicated nor a time consuming task.
  • The online course provides a sample or prototype of a professional will that you can easily use.
  • In the case of our unexpected death or disability our clients have ethical and/or legal rights, including continuity of care and appropriate handling of their confidential records.
  • Having a professional will protects our family and colleagues from additional burden and ensures that the disposition of our practice will be performed according to professional standard and our wishes.
  • A professional will can help to protect our estate from being sued.
  • Most codes of ethics require therapists to prepare for the eventuality of unexpected death, disability or any other abrupt termination of treatment. Preparing a professional will is the ethical thing to do.
  • The professional will should provide the executor with clients’ contact information, information on where the records of current and past clients are located and how to access them. It should also provide information regarding computer passwords, answering machines access codes, keys to office and file cabinets, etc.
  • The professional will should detail which clients should be contacted, how to contact them, what should be communicated and the referrals they should be offered.
  • The executor should also have the contact information for the executor of the personal will and the attorney, and vice versa, as they may be required to work cooperatively in certain instances.
  • Full access to all records, facilities and communication devices must be available to the executor.
  • Contact information for others who have access to these facilities and records, such as practice partners, secretaries, business managers or facility managers, should be included.
  • Directions should be included regarding how clients will be notified, including a list of former clients you might want included.
  • The company providing professional liability insurance and your licensing board should also be notified immediately.
  • The professional will should provide the executor with a list of contact information for clinical referrals and colleagues or organizations that you would like to have notified.


Sign up for topical updates and invitations to participate with Dr. Zur