For practical, ethical and legal reasons, it is important that psychologists plan in advance for the management of professional practice issues in case of sudden incapacity or death. A well-prepared professional will can serve to protect yourself, your estate, your patients and your family members.
Your professional will designates a trusted colleague as “professional executor” and provides all the information needed to close your practice.
The Spring/Summer 2014 issue of the APA Practice Organization’s (APAPO) Good Practice magazine included an article, “Your Professional Will: Why and How to Create (PDF, 378KB).” To augment the guidance and sample template provided in the magazine, APAPO has created additional resources for psychologists getting started with creating a professional will.
The resources, which are available in the Practice Management section of APAPO’s Practice Central website, are:
- Sample Professional Will (PDF, 245KB) — This sample template is based on the San Diego Psychological Association Committee on Psychologist Retirement, Incapacitation or Death’s (SDPA PRID) sample “Professional Will” and can be used to facilitate the creation of a professional will.
- Further Instructions and Considerations in Preparing a Professional Will.
- Information for Professional Executor: Files, Passwords and Contacts List (PDF, 237KB) — This document helps compile a list to facilitate executor access to all relevant contacts, client records and other important documents, including hard copy and electronic files as well as back-up files.
These resources are provided for informational purposes only. They are not intended to provide legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining personal legal advice and consultation prior to making decisions regarding individual circumstances. Psychologists are advised to consult an experienced attorney in order to prepare a professional will. This document is based on the San Diego Psychological Association Committee on Psychologist Retirement, Incapacitation or Death (SDPA PRID) sample “Professional Will” which is available in its “Professional Will Packet.” APAPO gratefully acknowledges the work of the SDPA PRID and has prepared this revised document with the association’s permission.