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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Deceased clients and their wills

When a treating psychologist receives a bequest, what ethical considerations come into play?

By Stephen Behnke, JD, PhD, MDiv
The Monitor on Psychology
May 2015, Vol 46, No. 5
Print version: page 72

Here is an excerpt:

Most risk managers — people who work for insurance carriers, for example, whose primary goal is to lower a psychologist's exposure to risk — will advise the psychologist to decline the property. This advice makes good sense. The situation invites a claim that the psychologist exercised undue influence over the client, which is a relevant legal standard for overturning the bequest. The likelihood that a claim of undue influence will be made against the psychologist rises exponentially if the client had heirs, or potential beneficiaries of the estate who are found. If a complaint is made to an ethics committee or licensing board, the psychologist will bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation:

The entire article is here.