The Professional Executor

Planning for the future of your private practice

In the event of your death or disability, what happens to your practice? What happens to your clients? What happens to your client files? Who will collect your fees already earned? Who has access to your computer? Who will deal with third-party payers and contracts? Do you have appropriate tail insurance? What about client abandonment? These professional issues require a professional solution.

Advance planning will assure legal compliance, avoid potential litigation, and fulfill your ethical responsibilities as a licensed professional. Having an effective plan will protect your spouse or loved ones and avoid potential liability. It is also smart business. The process of closing or transitioning your practice, resolving contractual or employment issues, and valuing your practice is more efficient and less expensive if the groundwork is already in place.

Professional Executor

The Professional Executor is a mental health professional with the same or similar license whom you select to implement a practice transition plan. He or she should be a colleague familiar with your practice and circumstances. When needed, the Professional Executor will perform tasks such as ensuring proper record retention, providing for ethical termination of clients, and winding down practice operations. While engaging in these activities, the Professional Executor will be informed and guided by your practice transition plan.

Transitioning your Practice

Advance planning for your practice involves identifying your goals and then creating the legal and practical tools necessary to achieve your desired outcomes. For example, your goals may include securing assets, maintaining client confidentiality, insulating family members from responsibility for the practice, and incorporating your practice into your estate.

Legal and practical tools may include:

  • Appointing a Professional Executor to wind up your practice
  • Creating written instructions for your Professional Executor
  • Aligning your practice with your estate plan and other assets
  • Safekeeping passwords and computer files
  • Preparing notification letters to clients and other entities
  • Making appropriate referrals for your clients

Conclusion

Significant events in a professional's life often have an outsize effect on small group or solo practices, which simply do not have the organizational structure of larger entities. Therefore, it is imperative to plan in advance for practice transition and not wait until a crisis arrives to address these crucial issues. As Ben Franklin once said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Appointing a professional executor and creating a practice transition plan will ensure your practice is legally and ethically prepared, eliminate unintended consequences, and keep your loved ones and clients from harm.

For more information about planning and our practice, please visit our website or contact our office.

© 2017 Monahan Law Group, LLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.