What Is the National Association Of Estate Planners And Councils (NAEPC)?

The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC) is a collective of estate planning councils consisting of more than 270 member councils from throughout the United States.

Understanding the National Association Of Estate Planners And Councils (NAEPC)

The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC) is a nationwide coalition of estate planners and estate planning councils dedicated to establishing and maintaining high standards of competence for the estate planning profession.

The NAEPC requires its member councils to admit a range of estate planning professionals. This could include insurance agents, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, and more. The organization does not restrict the disciplines or specialties of membership in its member councils, so many of the councils do include members from a variety of disciplines. The common connection is that all of the affiliated council membership somehow relates to the core issue of estate planning.

To maintain and uphold prestigious standards for professionals who earn NAEPC member affiliation, the organization enforces strict standards for admission. Applicants must have extensive professional experience in a role that is directly involved in estate planning, along with a documented formal education that is relevant to those duties.

NAEPC Admission and Membership

NAEPC has three types of membership: councils, designees, and at-large members. Someone can join as an at-large member if their local council is unaffiliated or if the person is not affiliated with a local council.

NAEPC offers two estate planning credentials, the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) and the Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS). The organization seeks to promote the value of estate planning through various marketing and public education programs. The AEP designation is meant to represent an elite status of professional achievement. Those who wish to earn this designation must be a licensed or credentialed professional in their field, holding a high-level title such as CPA, JD or, CFP. They must also devote at least one-third of their professional focus to estate planning.

The EPLS designation is granted by The Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., an NAEPC subsidiary that bestows the only national board certification of that designation for law professionals. As with the AEP, the EPLS credential requires strict admission standards and demonstration of professional accomplishments. 

In order to earn either of the estate planning credentials offered by the NAEPC, students must have a career related to estate planning. Stockbrokers, financial planners, and tax professionals are all eligible for these programs. They must also have at least five years of qualifying experience in their respective fields before they can carry the designation.