Estate Planning Essentials (CPE Course)

CPE Credit: 13 hours

Course Type: Downloaded PDF materials with online test

Price (with PDF Textbook): $87

Course Description
Designed to give a quick overview of estate planning essentials, this course surveys wills, living trusts, gifts, marital property, and probate avoidance with an Internet flair. Will and trust types are examined in the context of general estate and gift taxation. Designed to eliminate estate problems and death taxes, the emphasis is on practical solutions that are cost effective. Talk about having it all in an overview course - there is even a quick review of immediate postmortem death tax planning and filling out the Form 706.

Author: Danny Santucci

Course Number: TX1010

IRS Program Number: 72821-T-00011-13-S

Learning Objectives

  • Identify basic estate planning elements noting the importance of well-drafted legal documents and specify the key team participants including their roles in estate planning process.
  • Determine the major steps in the probate process, identify ways to make transfers outside the probate system including the use of a trust, specify estate tax techniques that save death taxes while retaining maximum control, and
  • Identify potential death taxes including federal estate tax as it applies to various size estates, specify the principal taxes that impact death taxation, and determine the expiration of the death tax credit.
  • Determine what constitutes a taxable estate under §2501 noting what assets are included in a gross estate using basic categories of property and transfers.
  • Specify estate deductions allowed under federal estate tax law noting their tax advantages and disadvantages.
  • Determine the value a decedent’s assets using permitted elections, recognize the use of the Form 706 to pay any estate tax due, select the tax basis of estate assets noting how common transactions affect property basis under §1014.
  • Recall the advantages of gift planning including estate reduction noting the impact of the GST, specify the steps to compute gift tax identifying the gift tax exclusion amount, and determine the value of gifts including those that are split.
  • Identify the various gift tax exclusions, specify the tax treatment of below-market loans, recall the gift tax marital deduction requirements, determine the tax consequences of giving various assets noting factors to consider when gifting, and recognize the use of the Form 709 to compute and pay federal gift tax.
  • Specify types of wills noting functions a will can perform, identify types of bequests, determine the duties of executors and guardians, and recall ways to hold title and their tax ramifications.
  • Identify advantages of a properly drafted will, determine the distribution flow of simple wills, and specify the pros and cons of probate proceedings.
  • Identify the relationship of parties in a trust, reasons to establish a trust, and types of trusts noting their estate planning function.
  • Specify recommended living trust provisions, identify the application of gift and income tax including the use of a grantor trust and an unlimited marital deduction, and determine what constitutes an “A-B” and “A-B-C” trust format.
  • Determine post-mortem estate planning action in the face of funeral and administrative expenses using elections and disclaimers.
  • Cite the due dates of post-mortem federal forms, specify the filing requirements of a decedent’s estate tax return, and identify exceptions to the general rule of estate tax payment.
  • Determine the processes and procedures necessary in preparation and filing of the Form 706.
  • Identify the filing requirements for estate income tax and decedent’s final income tax returns.
  • Determine total income be included on the decedent’s final income tax return using available exemptions or deductions.
  • Identify how to avoid penalties when filing a gift tax return, recognize gift splitting to reduce gift taxes, and recall special gift applications and traps noting ways to avoid their tax consequences.
  • Identify how the Internet is changing the tax profession, recognize the evolution of the Internet noting its main contributors and influential organizations, and determine the distinction between the Internet and the World Wide Web.
  • Recognize how to utilize Internet resources safely and to their fullest.
  • Determine how to use the World Wide Web by typing a URL into the address bar, sending and receiving e-mail using appropriate e-mail etiquette, subscribing to a mailing list or a newsgroup, improving Internet performance, and identifying the purpose for each part of an Internet address.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Web as they apply to researching tax issues, and select legal and tax resources on the Web using various online law libraries and site lists.
  • Recognize reliable and trusted websites to obtain primary and commentary tax information.
  • Choose federal tax forms using IRS websites, determine how to refine searches on search sites using specialize (Boolean) tools, and identify  all-in-one sites for case, legislation and regulation search.

    Level: Overview

    Instructional Method: QAS Self-Study

    NASBA Category: Taxes

    Prerequisites: None

    Advance Preparation: None

    Program Registration Requirements: Click on "Purchase Course" near the top of this page to pay for and access the course. You will then be able to download the course as a PDF file, then take an on-line examination, and then download a certificate of completion if you pass the examination.

    Program Refund Policy: For more information regarding administrative policies concerning complaints, refunds, and other matters, see our policies page.


    AccountingTools, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

    The NASBA sponsor identification number for Accountingtools, Inc. is 115881.

    AccountingTools is an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider. We are compliant with the requirements for continuing education providers (as described in sections 10.6 and 10.9 of the Department of Treasury’s Circular No. 230 and in other IRS guidance, forms, and instructions). Our IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider number is 72821.