National Association of Estate Planners and Councils

Accredited Estate Planner® Designation

Administered by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, the Accredited Estate Planner® designation means “I believe in the team concept of estate planning” and attainment allows designees to distinguish themselves to clients and among peers as a true member of the team. 

It is awarded only to estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character.  This page of our website offers an overview of the program requirements and additional information can be obtained by downloading an application below or by reviewing the “Frequently Asked Questions.”

“As I focused more and more on estate planning in my practice, I began to realize the importance of finding another professional credential that spoke to my commitment to estate planning and need to collaborate successfully with other professionals in the estate planning  team. No one professional can do it all and by earning the Accredited Estate Planner, AEP® designation I communicate to my clients and peers that I am actively engaged in building relationships with like-minded professionals who are aligned with my passion for excellence in estate planning. This collaborative approach brings out the best in me and my team in service to our clients. I highly recommend this designation so that you, too, can take your practice to the next level.”
- Paul S. Viren, CLU®, ChFC®, AEP®, designee since 2011


Brief Overview of Requirements for all Applicants

  • Active practice for a minimum of five years within the following disciplines: accounting; insurance and financial planning; law; philanthropy; and trust services
  • Devote at least 1/3 of one’s time to estate planning
  • One or more of the following professional credentials: JD (active law license required if this is the only credential with which you are applying), CPA, CLU®, CFP®, ChFC®, CPWA®, CFA, CAP®, CSPG, CTFA, MSFS, and MST
  • Three professional references from individuals with whom you have worked with on estate planning cases and assignments
  • Current membership in an affiliated local estate planning council

Additional Requirement for Applicants with 5 – 15 years of Experience

The NAEPC partners with the American College of Financial Services to offer comprehensive graduate courses in estate planning to those who are interested in applying for the AEP® designation and are required to take coursework, or those who are simply interested in continuing education.  Newly-revised course GS815 – Advanced Estate Planning addresses changes to the tax code as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, offers an in-depth look at the techniques of estate planning affected by the new law while continuing to cover the traditional estate planning topics, and goes beyond traditional asset-centric planning and incorporating important family-centric elements, teaching the essential skills of purposeful planning and collaboration.  To learn more about this or the other courses offered to satisfy the graduate coursework requirement for the designation program, please contact the Graduate School at 888-263-7265 or

Learn More

To download the appropriate application or learn more, please follow the link(s) below. 

Learn more about the AEP® designation from NAEPC past president Clark B. McCleary: