As a professional, you’ve worked hard to build a successful career and establish yourself in your field. However, have you considered what would happen to your practice in the event of your incapacity or death? While it’s not something that anyone likes to think about, having a plan in place is essential. This is where a professional will comes in and, in some cases, is required.
A professional will is a legal document that outlines what should happen to your practice in the event of your incapacity or death. It’s a critical part of any professional’s estate plan, as it ensures that your practice is handled appropriately and your clients are taken care of.
Here are some reasons why a professional will is essential for professionals:
1. Protect Your Clients
Your clients are the lifeblood of your practice, and you want to ensure that they are taken care of in the event of your incapacity or death. A professional will can help you do this by outlining who should take over your practice and how your clients should be notified. This ensures that your clients’ needs are met and that they can continue to receive the services they need.
2. Ensure Continuity of Business
Your professional practice is likely your most significant asset. Without a professional will in place, your practice could be subject to probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. With a professional will, you can ensure that your practice is transferred smoothly and efficiently to your designated successor. This ensures that your business can continue to operate and provide services to your clients.
3. Protect Your Assets
As a professional, you have likely invested a significant amount of time and money into your practice. Without a professional will, your practice and assets could be at risk. With a professional will, you can ensure that your assets are protected and transferred to your designated successor as you intended.
4. Choose Your Successor
A professional will allows you to choose who will take over your practice in the event of your incapacity or death. You can select someone who shares your values and approach to your profession, ensuring that your clients will be in good hands. This also allows you to ensure that your business legacy will continue as you intended.
5. Provide Peace of Mind
Finally, a professional will can provide peace of mind. Knowing that you have a plan in place can help alleviate anxiety and stress. You can focus on your practice and your clients without worrying about what will happen to your business if something were to happen to you.
6. Mandatory Based on Profession
There are certain careers that require a professional will. The Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT) is the accrediting body for Registered Therapeutic Counsellors (RTC), Accredited Counsellors (AC), Master Therapeutic Counsellor (MTC) and Registered Counselling Supervisors (RCS).
Under the ACCT Standards of Practice section 2.16 Retirement or Leave, accredited counsellors are required to have a professional will. Retirement and/or leave are not always something that can be planned for and a professional will is required.
A professional will is a critical component of any estate plan. It ensures that your clients are taken care of, your practice is transferred smoothly, and your assets are protected. Further, dependent on your career path, a professional will may be required and failure to ensure you have a plan in place may leave you open to penalties within your profession. While it’s not pleasant to think about the worst-case scenario, having a professional will in place can provide peace of mind and allow you to focus on what you do best – helping people.
This article is intended to be informative and does not replace or constitute legal advice. No lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary or other relationship is created by viewing this article.
If you have questions about professional wills, or questions about another legal matter, contact Zachary Dallman for a complimentary consultation. You can book a consult through www.macushlaw.ca using our booking system or contact Zachary at [email protected] or 778.653.6163.