What Are My Training Options for an Estate Planning Career?
If you are intrigued by both law and finance, a career in estate planning may be a good fit. Read below for details regarding the possible education and training options for a career in this field.
Estate Planning - The Basics
Estate planners are responsible for disposing of an estate in a financially sound manner. This may involve the creation of trusts and other beneficiary designations in accordance with the specifications made by the owner of the estate. Estate planners generally use legal tools to minimize the tax liability of a particular estate. Because the field involves complex financial and legal mechanisms, many estate planners are also practicing attorneys or financial planners.
Degree and certification programs are available to meet the demands of this growing profession. Many professionals who already hold advanced degrees in relevant fields choose to pursue estate planning certifications. Some universities now offer master's degree programs specific to the field. A couple of estate planning education and certification options are discussed below.
Important Facts About an Estate Planning Career
|Median Salary (2019)*||$71,969 (for estate planning attorneys)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||15% (for personal financial advisors)|
|Key Skills||Clear communication, decision-making, computer competency, interpersonal, reading comprehension, organization, customer service|
|Similar Occupations||Accountants, financial analysts, insurance underwriters, loan officers, tax preparers, risk management specialists, personal financial advisors|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Institute of Certified Estate Planners - Certification
For licensed financial, legal and tax professionals, the National Institute of Certified Estate Planners offers a certification course. The entire program typically takes five or six months to complete. Upon successful completion of coursework, students take a proctored certification exam. There is a fee involved with this program.
University of Miami - Master of Laws in Estate Planning
The University of Miami's School of Law offers a Master of Laws in Estate Planning degree. This is one of the few full-time programs in the U.S. that leads to this specific degree. The program is designed to offer law graduates and practicing attorneys a tailored combination of tax and estate planning coursework. Courses explore topics that include the following:
- Corporate tax
- Charitable gifts
- Federal wealth transfer tax
- Asset protection planning
- Marital deduction planning
- Elder law