Board Certified In Estate Planning (BCE)

Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCD): A professional certification that used to be offered by the Institute of Business and Finance.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

What Does Board Certified In Estate Planning Mean?

Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) was a professional certification offered by the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF).

Understanding Board Certified In Estate Planning (BCE)

Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) was a certification offered by the IBF. It is now offered as a certification known as Certified Estate and Trust Specialist (CES). The program was aimed at brokers, advisors and financial planners whose clients are interested in estate accumulation, preservation and distribution, or any other aspects of estate planning.

The BCE – and now CES – designation is seen as a valuable professional credential that allows financial or legal practitioners to broaden their skill set and expertise, and to be in a position to offer their clients an expanded range of services.

Credits earned via the BCE program can be used to satisfy any related continuing education (CE) requirements dictated by state regulations, subject to the program receiving state approval. These credits can also be applied toward a master’s degree program.

BCE Topics and Advantages

Qualified estate planners play a key role as one generation ages and plans for the distribution of their wealth upon their death. The BCE program was aimed at helping these individuals. This program consisted of a 60-hour self-study course with five modules. To complete the course and become a BCE, candidates need to have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of two years of experience in the financial services industry.

Professionals with a BCE certification can show demonstrated knowledge of and experience in an array of core areas related to estate planning and management. This includes issues related to wills, trusts, retirement planning, funeral arrangements, tax responsibilities and financial accounts related to these matters. In addition, this certification covers in-depth aspects of financial and legal issues related to designating an individual’s wishes and intended representative for living trusts, living wills, and situation involving incapacitation. These professionals will also have expertise that qualifies them to provide guidance for situations involving surviving spouses and children.

Those who complete the BCE certification program will have learned how to avoid critical and potentially costly mistakes that could create serious problems for their clients. They can also advise clients as to the best ways to allocate and disburse their estate, to maximize charitable giving while also keeping estate and gift taxes to the minimum level possible.

IBF was founded in 1988 by a group of financial planners and advisors. To date, more than 16,000 professionals have completed courses offered by the organization.

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  1. Institute of Business & Finance. "Certified Estate and Trust Specialist." Accessed March 3, 2021.

  2. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. "Certified Estate and Trust Specialist (CES)." Accessed March 3, 2021.

  3. Institute of Business & Finance. "Why IBF?" Accessed March 3, 2021.

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