Summary of Education Need for Estate Planning

While certification in this field is voluntary, programs in estate planning certificate provide additional knowledge to people with graduate or undergraduate degrees in related fields. Programs normally include legal courses connected to this part of the law.

Essential Information 

Graduating from estate planning certification programs usually, can occur in a year and are offered at most law schools. These programs are intended to teach students for a role in:

  • Estate planning
  • Taxation
  • Trust

According to a Temecula Estate Planning Attorney, there are programs offering separate paths dependent on the student’s careers, including different paths for:

  • Attorney
  • Accountants 

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Requirements for courses 

Those taking these courses are required to complete specific hours doing pre-approved pro bono work in tax law or estate planning.

  • Prerequisites: Graduate degree in law or a related field, exam for bachelor’s degree graduates
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Some Program Specializations: Accountant, attorney
  • Potential Graduation Requirements: Pro bono work 

Other Certification Programs 

Many schools offering certificate programs in estate planning need their students to have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or a degree that is equivalent from an accredited law school. If they did not study law, then these students may need to complete the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam as well as an undergraduate degree in accounting from an accredited school and have done professional tax work for at least 1 year. Applicants need to also meet a minimum grade point that is based upon undergraduate accounting or graduate law school programs. These courses might include:

  • Gift and estate tax
  • Partnership taxation
  • Income taxation on estates and trusts
  • Elder law 

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Continuing Education and Certificate Information 

The ‘National Institute of Certified Estate Planners’ or (NICEP) provides a ‘Certified Estate Planner’ (CEP) certification where applicants earn by completing education courses and then passing an exam. CEPs also need to:

  • Pay yearly fee
  • Take continuing education courses every 2 years
  • Obey NICEP’s code of ethics while remaining certified

After obtaining this designation, an applicant can work for a ‘Master Certified Estate Planner’ (MCEP) authorization byfinishing a NICEP-sponsored course.


41593 Winchester Rd. #200 Temecula, CA 92590

Phone: (951) 223-7000

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