There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Designed to give a quick overview of the essential aspects of estate planning, this course covers wills, living trusts, gifts, marital property, and probate avoidance. Danny Santucci gives you all the relevant information you need to know regarding wills and trust types, analyzing the impact of each choice in the context of general estate and gift taxation. You'll learn practical, cost effective methods to eliminate estate problems and minimize death taxes and gain an understanding of immediate postmortem death tax planning and the Form 706. Estate Planning Essentials will give you everything you need to assist clients in planning for the preservation of wealth and estates in a thorough, straightforward manner.


Danny Santucci, JD

Danny Santucci, BA, JD, is a prolific author of tax and financial books and articles. His legal career started with the business and litigation firm of Edwards, Edwards, and Ashton. Later he joined the Century City entertainment firm of Bushkin, Gaims, Gaines, and Jonas working for many well-known celebrities. In 1980, Danny established the law firm of Santucci, Potter, and Leanders in Irvine, California. With increasing lecture and writing commitments, Danny went into sole practice in 1995. His practice emphasizes business taxation, real estate law, and estate planning. Speaking to more than 100 groups nationally each year, he is known for spicing up his extensive expertise with an incredible sense of humor.

Course Specifics

Jun 26, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

IRS Provider #: 0MYXB
IRS Course ID: 0MYXB-T-00824-15-S
IRS Federal Tax Law Credits: 9
CTEC Provider #: 2071
CTEC Course ID: 2071-CE-0817
CTEC Federal Tax Law Credits: 9
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify basic estate planning elements
  • Cite the importance of well-drafted legal documents
  • Identify the key team participants in the estate planning process
  • Recognize the components and major steps in the probate process
  • Identify ways to make transfers outside the probate system, noting the use of trusts
  • Specify estate tax techniques that save death taxes while retaining maximum control

Chapter 2

  • Identify potential death taxes, including federal estate tax
  • Determine what constitutes a taxable estate under §2501, noting what assets are included in a gross estate using basic categories of property and transfers
  • Identify estate deductions allowed under federal estate tax law, noting tax advantages and disadvantages
  • Note the role and responsibilities of the executor
  • Recognize the ways to determine the value a decedent's assets using permitted elections
  • Recognize the components of Form 706 and its use to pay any estate tax due
  • Specify the steps to compute gift tax, noting the gift tax exclusion amount
  • Determine the value of gifts, including those that are split
  • Identify the various gift tax exclusions, noting factors to consider when gifting, gift tax marital deduction requirements, and the tax consequences of giving various assets

Chapter 3

  • Recognize the various types of wills, noting the functions a will can perform
  • Identify types of bequests
  • Cite the duties of executors and guardians
  • Recall ways to hold title, noting applicable tax ramifications
  • Identify advantages of a properly drafted will
  • Determine the distribution flow of simple wills
  • Specify the pros and cons of probate proceedings

Chapter 4

  • Identify the relationship of parties in a trust
  • Recognize the various reasons for establishing a trust
  • List types of trusts, noting their estate planning function
  • Cite recommended living trust provisions
  • Identify the application of gift and income tax including the use of a grantor trust and an unlimited marital deduction
  • Identify what constitutes an 'A-B' and 'A-B-C' trust format

Chapter 5

  • Recognize the usage of elections and disclaimers for post-mortem estate planning
  • Cite the due dates of post-mortem federal forms
  • Recognize the filing requirements of a decedent's estate tax return, noting exceptions to the general rule of estate tax payment
  • Cite 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
  • Recognize how to avoid penalties when filing a gift tax return, the use of gift splitting to reduce gift taxes, special gift applications, potential traps, and tax consequences

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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