Become a CEP® Professional

Estate Planning Today

There has never been a more important topic or a more critical time in the story of our nation's wealth. Our country is in the midst of a profound financial reconfiguration. The Baby Boomer Generation, those born from 1946 to 1964, is now entering retirement. The largest wealth transfer in our nation's history is underway, and while there may be dozens if not hundreds of financial, legal and tax professionals in most localities, it is so common as to be cliché… the average American has done little or no estate planning! This means that all of the hard work you and your clients have done so far may be undone upon their death or disability.

Nevertheless, consumers are more savvy than ever, asking better questions, and looking for guidance. Today, estate planning is on everyone’s mind and has become increasingly complex. The NICEP is proud to lead the way in the education and support of financial, legal and tax professionals who desire to elevate their practice in the comprehensive and demanding field of estate planning. Planners need to know how to serve their clients and safeguard themselves. Paying very strict attention to the prohibitions against the Unauthorized Practice of Law, the NICEP has designed its course to instruct the attorney and non-attorney planner in the proper techniques and language that can be used in their practice.

Would you like to assist your clients with a well thought out estate plan?

This is simply the most relevant professional niche possible today for planners who desire to bring a comprehensive and thoughtful service to their clients. The Certified Estate Planner™ (CEP®) certification conveys in a clearly comprehensible way to your community that you are qualified to help them understand the various options and nuances of estate planning, and as a part of a professional team, capable of developing a customized plan that fits their unique set of circumstances.

Would you like to distinguish yourself among your peers in this current climate?

Would you like to take your practice to a higher level of proficiency and credibility?

Set yourself apart with an education in estate planning that is truly a mark of professional excellence. Join the growing number of professionals that are bringing such valuable expertise and confidence to their clients’ estate planning needs by earning the distinctive CEP® certification!

Financial Firm Compliance

The CEP® certification is being used by individuals representing the vast majority of broker/dealers nationwide, and also by agents of many of the nation's largest and most well known insurance and annuity companies. If necessary, we will be pleased to assist in requesting a firm to review, accept and support the use of the CEP® certification.

Certified Estate Planner™ Course

(A Brief Outline)

Introduction to Estate Planning
  • Defining Estate Planning
  • Financial Professionals and the Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Client Concerns
  • Estate Planning and the Transfer of Wealth
  • Taxes
Getting Started
  • The Essential Estate Planning Documents
  • Planning for Death
  • Advance Medical Directives
  • Planning for Incapacity
  • How are These Documents Managed by the Estate Planning Team?
The Paths Your Client Can Take From Here
  • Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Which Path is Best?
  • Sixteen Considerations of Will Centered vs. Trust Centered Estate Planning
Understanding Wills
  • Valid Will
  • Types of Wills
  • Amending and/or Revoking a Will
  • Duties of an Executor
Understanding Trusts
  • Living Trusts vs. Testamentary Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts
  • The Revocable Living Trust
  • Types of Revocable Living Trusts
  • Estate Taxes and the Revocable Living Trust
  • Key Estate Tax Rules
  • The Trustee
Essential Elements and Special Provisions in Wills and Trusts
  • The Essential Elements of a Will and a Living Trust
  • Special Will and Trust Provisions for Special Situations
Funding the Trust and Following Up
  • Funding the Revocable Living Trust
  • Titling the Trust
  • Assets that Require Special Attention
  • Funding the Trust and Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Q&A on Living with a Will and a Revocable Living Trust
Protecting Wealth and Providing a Legacy
  • Insurance and Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning and Asset Protection
  • Other Trusts

Scheduled Classes

Class Name Starting Date Enroll
MCEP® Online Plus Presentation - DECEMBER 2018 12-06-2018 Enroll Now
CEP® Online Plus Presentation - FEBRUARY 2019 02-01-2019 Enroll Now
CEP® Online Plus Presentation - MAY 2019 05-01-2019 Enroll Now
CEP® Online Plus Presentation - AUGUST 2019 08-01-2019 Enroll Now
CEP® Online Plus Presentation - NOVEMBER 2019 11-01-2019 Enroll Now

VA Reimbursement

Are you a veteran?

The National Institute of Certified Estate Planners is pleased to announce that the prestigious CEP® certification is now within closer reach for thousands of professionals who have served in the military or reserves, as well as their dependents. Payment for the CEP® qualifying certification exam has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as reimbursable under the GI Bill for licensing and certification. Contact our office for details.

Our Mission

  • We work with qualified financial, legal, and tax professionals who understand the importance of estate planning
  • We train them to work together as a team to bring to every client a custom tailored estate plan.
  • We stress that every estate plan should be designed to preserve, protect, and pass on that individual's estate to whom they want, when they want, and how they want.
  • We think each client should also enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing their estate will be managed during their lifetime as they have directed, should they ever become incapacitated.
  • We believe every American adult deserves an estate plan that allows these goals to be accomplished in the most efficient manner available under the law, and that minimizes costs both now and in the future.

Interested in CEP® Training?

NICEP Instructor

Attorney Jonathan M. Graham Attorney Jonathan M. Graham is the Dean of Education for the NICEP and the principal instructor for both the CEP® and MCEP® courses. He is an active estate planning attorney and resides with his wife and children in Plymouth, MA. In addition to his legal practice, Jon is also a member of the Real Estate Bar Association. He has a proven track record as both a practitioner and a teacher in the estate planning arena, particularly in the use of trusts, elder planning, and corporate and asset protection strategies.


"Thank you for taking the time to teach the class. I learned a lot and I'm really looking forward to tailoring my practice to not only market myself as a CEP®, but also implementing the topics that I'm learning in the course." Bruce B., WA

“This course was an excellent way to prepare for the CEP® exam. The course was fast moving, and questions were answered directly. It greatly increased my knowledge on trusts and estate planning. I can't wait to use the concepts learned in my business.” Jim D., FL

“Most of us have been exposed to at least some of the material in the course. However, this course takes it to another level and gives the financial advisor much greater knowledge of the entire estate planning process.” Philip E., TX

“I wanted to write to you to let you know that taking your class has been one of the best things I have done for my career. This class has given me the confidence to get in front of the very affluent and be confident in the advice I am giving. I have also used the information to get in the planned giving area. My B/D puts a premium on education, this class was a great experience and I hope some of my peers will take advantage of this opportunity!” Hugh H., GA

“I found this course to be quite helpful in consolidating a vast amount of information into a concise and smooth study. I definitely think it was helpful to my grasping the subject matter in a manner easy to recall.” Michael H., TX

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for the very informative and highly enlightening workshops we just attended. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this will enhance everything we do and the fact that we have such a huge resource available means so much. What you guys are doing is awesome.” Cheri H., NV

“I would recommend this course. With estate planning being a constantly moving target it is valuable for anyone who works in the legal or financial arena to be reminded of, or learn, the basics involved in current estate planning. Without continuing reminders and updates we can be unknowingly guiding our clients toward a path that may not suit them perfectly.” Mark H., NC

“The format of the course is perfect for a working professional and the direct approach was a tremendous asset. The recognition from clients about this certification has been extremely valuable. Thank you.” Philip K., IL

“The course far exceeded my expectations and is well worth the investment of your time and money.” Mark N., NC

“I am writing to thank you for the outstanding CEP® program presented in Colorado Springs. Your presentation was the most user friendly and practical application oriented program that I have attended in my thirteen years as an estate planner. Your services provide the estate planners the opportunity to take their practice to the next level in services and quality. I congratulate the NICEP for providing a valuable, timely, comprehensive, and quality focused educational service. You are establishing a new standard for the industry while making an immense contribution to professionalism in the arena of estate planning.” William S., CO

“I have been in the Insurance and Financial Services field for over twenty years. I started with one of the big mutuals and received excellent training. I always subscribed to the “get all the knowledge you can” approach in the business. I have attained many certifications to attest to this philosophy of approaching the business. I have many initials after my name to show my belief in knowing this ever-changing business environment of insurance and planning. For many years I worked and learned but still stayed in the same economic and income level. My practice is focused on Estate Planning and I have worked with some high-powered legal advisors, but did not feel fulfilled. In 2002 I enrolled in a program with the NICEP and earned my CEP® certification. The timing was perfect since I was working with a large estate and closed the largest commission I had ever attained. My income has grown over 5 times my average income before my association with the NICEP. It has given me credibility with advisors, more confidence in front of clients and the opportunity to have a large increase in my income. Thank you.” Stephen S., NC

“This course was excellent. Although my background was almost solely based in the securities industry, I was the highest ranking officer in the trust department of the second largest bank in the state. This training would have proven indispensible, both to my staff and to myself. I would recommend this program to anyone committed to the most efficient protection and transfer of wealth.” Mark S., NH

“I consider the time and dollars to be excellent investments and believe that the knowledge, certification, and association with the NICEP will be highly beneficial to my practice.” Jack W., TX

“Thanks again for a great class! Best course experience I’ve ever had!” John Y., CA