Estate Planning Certification: Certificate Program Summary

Estate planning certificate programs are available to those with a law or accounting degree and can supplement their legal knowledge. Certification in the field is optional. Get details on the program prerequisites, areas of study, career options and possible salaries in this field.

View 6 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Graduate estate planning certificate programs can typically be completed in one year and are offered at law schools. In most circumstances, applicants need to have a graduate law degree or a related degree. These programs prepare students for roles in estate planning, taxation and trusts. Some programs may offer separate tracks depending upon the students' potential careers, including ones for attorneys and accountants.

Students may be required to complete a specific number of hours doing pre-approved pro bono work in estate planning or tax law. One option that graduates can consider is to earn estate planning certification, which occurs by meeting education requirements and passing a test offered by an industry organization.

Educational Prerequisites

Most schools offering certificate programs in estate planning state that students must have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent degree from an accredited law school. If they did not study law, students may need to successfully complete the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or possess an undergraduate degree in accounting from an accredited school and have performed professional tax work for at least one year. Applicants may also need a minimum grade point average based upon graduate law school or undergraduate accounting programs.

Course Topics

Students enrolled in a certificate in estate planning program typically only complete legal courses related to this portion of the law. Some courses may qualify for continuing education credit once applicants are certified. Courses offered may include the following:

  • Estate and gift tax
  • Partnership taxation
  • Tax aspects of charitable giving
  • Income taxation of trusts and estates
  • Elder law

Popular Career Options

Graduates of the estate planning certificate program can qualify for numerous law-based or accounting careers. In addition to becoming attorneys who can make estate planning their specialty, graduates can seek employment in areas such as these:

  • Paralegal or legal secretary work
  • Financial planning
  • Insurance sales

Faster than average employment growth was predicted for paralegals and legal assistants and average growth was expected for insurance sales agents from 2012 to 2022, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). May 2012 data from the BLS showed that paralegals and legal assistants earned an average salary of $50,220. The average annual income of insurance sales agents was $63,400 in the same year.

Professional Certification Information

The National Institute of Certified Estate Planners (NICEP) offers a Certified Estate Planner (CEP) distinction that applicants can earn by completing educational courses and passing an exam (www.nicep.org). CEPs must pay an annual fee, complete continuing education courses every two years and adhere to the NICEP's code of ethics to maintain certification. After obtaining the CEP designation, applicants can strive for a Master Certified Estate Planner (MCEP) certification by completing a NICEP-sponsored course.

Show me popular schools

Related to Estate Planning Certification: Certificate Program Summary

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Career Development Planning Job Options and Requirements

Workers in career development planning carry the titles of career counselor, vocational counselor, career advisor or employment...

Student Career Planning: Build an Awesome Resume

Students: Starting to think about your future career? The first step is to prepare a stellar resume that will help you get your...

Internships: How Internships Can Help with Career Planning

Need help with career planning? Whether you're still exploring career options or seeking work experience to bolster your...

Career Planning for College Students

Are you confused about what career to choose or what kind of work you'll enjoy? Like you, there are many college students and...

Networking: How Can Networking Help with Career Planning

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Alabama (3 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1)
    • Arizona (3)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (3)
    • Iowa (1)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Illinois (2)
    • Indiana (4)
    • Kansas (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Louisiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (6)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • Missouri (4)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • Nebraska (1)
    • Nevada (2)
    • Ohio (9)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Oregon (2)
    • Tennessee (5)
    • Texas (8)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (2)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Finance
        • Bachelor in Accounting
        • Bachelor in Business Accounting Technology
        • Bachelor in Business Administration
        • Bachelor in Internal Controls
    • Associate
        • Associate - Accounting (residence Associate''s Program)
        • Associate in Accounting
        • Associate in Business Management

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Business Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
        • Banking Related Services
        • Financial Planning Services
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baylor University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
        • Financial Planning Services
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at DePaul University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
        • Financial Mgmt Services
        • Financial Planning Services
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgia State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
        • Financial Planning Services
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • International Business
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics