FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Do I have to pay if I start but don’t finish?
A:  No.  You pay only after you have had a chance to review your answers and are ready to print your Therapist Will.

Q:  Is the Therapist Will document reviewed by an attorney?
A:  Yes.  Therapist Will.com documents are reviewed by qualified attorneys in each state where they are being offered.  Each document is designed so that your choices can only be choices that fall within your particular ethical and/or legal obligations to the best understanding of the attorneys who reviewed the documents for your state.  So, for example, if your state requires that a clinician with your license maintain clinical files for at least five years after termination of treatment, you will only have a choice of at least five years for the number of years your clinical files may be stored.

Q:  Is my Therapist Will reviewed by an attorney?
A:  No.  We strive to limit your choices so that you cannot create a term in your Therapist Will violate your ethical and/or legal requirements.  However, we do not have an individual attorney review your specific document.

Q:  What if I make a mistake?
A:  With the Basic Plan, you may log into your account and correct your Therapist Will any time within 30 days after completing it.

Q:  Can I revise my document later without paying the full fee for a new Therapist Will?
A:  Currently you may choose to pay an additional $15, which will give you a year to make revisions instead of 30 days.

Q:  What are the relevant laws and rules I should know about?
A:  The answer to this question varies from state to state, and sometimes even from license to license. We attempt to limit your choices to relevant laws, rules, or regulations for your license in your state.  You should address your questions about particular laws and rules to either your licensing board or to your professional association(s).  

Q:  Someone told me I’m not required to create a professional will, but you say I am required.  Why?
A:  For some licenses the requirement to create a professional will is directly prescribed.  But even when the requirement is not directly prescribed, in virtually all cases your professional licensing board or ethical guideline organization will require at least generally that you have a plan like that included in a Therapist Will.  If your plan is verbal, it will be very hard, if not impossible, for your survivors to prove you complied with your requirement to have a plan.  Therefore, for all practical purposes, we take the position that you are required to have a written plan like a Therapist Will if you are required to have a plan at all.  Even if a governing or ethical body says that you “should” have a professional will, that amounts to a de facto requirement, because failing to have such a plan exposes you or your estate to a malpractice claim.  Put more succinctly, if not having a written plan exposes you to liability, you are effectively required to have a written plan like a Therapist Will.

Q:  Is this a will or trust?
A:  It is neither and that is intentional.  This document is not a will or trust, because if it were, it might interfere with other estate planning documents.    The Therapist Will is a guide intended to fulfill your ethical and legal obligations pertaining to continuity of care for your clients and maintenance of clinical files in case of death or incapacity.   If you want to incorporate your Therapist Will into your will or trust, you should take it to a qualified estate planning attorney who should be able to help you incorporate your Therapist Will into your traditional estate planning documents.  You should make sure that your estate planning attorney is aware of the relevant laws (including HIPAA) and ethical codes relevant to you.

Q:  I have more than one license or certification.  Do I need a separate Therapist Will for each license/certification?
A:  It depends.  You can enter up to two licenses that can apply to your particular Therapist Will.  And if you do, you should make sure you choose options that fulfill both license requirements.  For example, if one license requires you to maintain clinical files for minor patients for three years after the minor becomes an adult and another license requires seven years of clinical file maintenance under such circumstances you should make sure you choose seven years so that both requirements are satisfied.  We try to design our software so that you can only choose options from a pulldown menu that would satisfy all minimum requirements, but you should always double check if you are not sure.  In the Therapist Will Preamble, stock language is included to indicate that the document can be used for more than one license the document it would meet the requirements of the additional license(s).

Q:  I have a promotional code.  How do I use it?
A:  When you pay for your Therapist Will you will be given the opportunity to enter your promotional code.

Q:  What is a normal amount people leave to a clinical executor?
A:  This answer would likely vary from region to region.  Consider the fact the clinical executor is taking on liability and that her/his job might last for many years.  The Therapist Will allows for the discretion of a trusted person to be used to ultimately determine fair compensation.  We suggest recommending that $5,000 be left to a clinical executor as compensation.  But that number is more or less arbitrary and you have a better sense of your community’s norms, the nature of your practice, and other factors that would go into making such a decision.  Remember, the document allows the leeway for your personal representative to give more or less money to the clinical executor based on circumstances at that time.

Q:  My clinical executor is someone who will not want to get paid.  Should I leave her money anyway?
A:  Yes.  We recommend authorizing compensation to all clinical executors.  It is better to offer the option of compensation in case circumstances dictate that the clinical executive should be compensated.  If a clinical executor does not want to get paid, she or he may donate the money to charity or simply refuse to take the money.  Another reason we recommend you leave money to all clinical executors is the possibility that the clinical executor turns out to be someone other than a person named.  This could happen if all clinical executors cannot serve and a new clinical executor has to be appointed.  Provisions for this type of scenario are included in the Therapist Will stock language.

Q:  Do I need to ask my clinical executors before I appoint them.
A:  No.  But we strongly recommend that you do.

Q:  What if all my clinical executors cannot serve?
A:  The Therapist Will includes a “catch all” clause authorizing your trustee, executor or next of kin to appoint a new clinical executor.

Q:  Are there other “catch all” or backup statements in the Therapist Will.
A:  Yes.  Because our document template was designed by estate planning attorneys, “catch all” or backup language is normal.  This is how traditional estate planning documents are prepared.  There is even language in the document authorizing the clinical executor to override your directions if your directions would cause a breach of the laws/edicts in place at the time.  So, for example, if you chose five years as the number of years clinical files should be stored after your incapacity or death but in the future the law for your license changes to seven years as a minimum period, the clinical executor has the power to override your original directive in order to prevent a violation of the law/edict.

Q:  What if all the people I named as clinical executors are unable or unwilling to serve?
A:  Although we recommend a periodic review of your Therapist Will, we are aware that you could create your Therapist Will and leave it unchanged for decades.  Over such a long period of time, it is possible that your clinical executors, move, leave the mental health field, or otherwise are unable to serve as clinical executors.  For that reason we have designed the Therapist Will to allow your next of kin or the executor of your will (or other similar person) to name an appropriate clinical executor to implement your Therapist Will.