Become an estate planning specialist.

EPIC is a 12-week course designed to help you pass the Estate Planning specialization exam offered by the California State Bar. From exam tips and study advice to substantive coverage of tax planning, administration procedures, professional responsibility, and incapacity planning, you'll learn everything you need to pass the exam on your first attempt.

Why become a certified specialist?

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Attract more clients

Very few California lawyers are certified specialists. As potential clients search for a lawyer, let them know you meet the highest standards of excellence and expertise in trust & probate law.

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Increase referrals

Give other attorneys confidence that when they refer matters to you, their clients are in good hands. Build a reputation for authority and competence in your field.

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Gain confidence & expertise

From complex tax issues to business succession planning to special needs trusts, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to handle the most nuanced trust & probate matters.


Course Coverage & Lecture Topics

Exam Discussion and Q&A

  • What to expect on the exam
  • Study approaches

Tax Planning Matters, Tax Procedure and Tax Returns I

  • Estate, gift, fiduciary, and personal income tax issues
  • Generation-skipping taxes
  • Property taxes

Tax Planning Matters, Tax Procedure and Tax Returns II

  • Disclaimers, reformations and constructions
  • Powers of appointment
  • Tax-sensitive wills, trusts and powers of attorney
  • Modification/termination of irrevocable trusts for tax planning

Tax Planning Matters, Tax Procedure and Tax Returns III

  • Tax opinions, memoranda, and advice letters
  • Audits, appeals, and ruling requests
  • Preparation and filing of returns
  • Payment/deferral of taxes

Administration Procedures I

  • Powers of attorney
  • Health care directives/issues
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships
  • Custodial accounts

Administration Procedures II

  • Trusts (court or non-court)
  • Modification/termination of irrevocable trusts for non-tax planning
  • Accountings
  • Fiduciaries
  • Other procedures under the Probate Code

Transfer by Administration or Otherwise I

  • Termination of interests with right of survivorship
  • Pay/transfer on death accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Contracts to convey at death/contracts regarding wills
  • Spousal set-asides

Transfer by Administration or Otherwise II

  • Probate procedures
  • Formal probate
  • Will/trust contests
  • Determination of heirship
  • Constructive trusts
  • Asset ownership disputes
  • Family claims/protection procedures
  • Creditor’s claims/rights

Professional Responsibility

  • Duties to clients, opposing counsel, and the Court
  • Conflict of interests/ethics
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Fee agreements
  • Bases for attorney’s fees
  • Bases for sanctions
  • Conduct resulting in malpractice/discipline
  • The client’s remedies against the attorney
  • Arbitration/mediation and dual representation

Estate and Incapacity Planning I

  • Wills (drafting, codicils, revocation)
  • Trusts (creation, amendment, restatement)
  • Documents of title
  • Beneficiary clauses
  • Property agreements
  • Community, separate and quasi-community property
  • Spousal and Registered Domestic Partnership rights
  • Powers of appointment

Estate and Incapacity Planning II

  • Retirement benefit planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Use of business entities
  • Charitable planning
  • Gifts

Estate and Incapacity Planning III

  • Powers of attorney
  • Health care directives
  • Issues of diminished capacity
  • Nomination of conservator/guardian
  • Use of custodianships
  • Special needs trusts
  • Disclaimers
  • Public benefits planning
  • Elder law/Medi-Cal planning
  • Elder abuse

Please Note: CEB created these course materials and recorded these lectures in preparation for the 2019 examination. While the videos and course materials have not been updated, since CEB does not anticipate significant changes to the scope and structure of the test, all study materials referenced as “Suggested OnLaw Reading” are updated regularly. There may ultimately be subject matter on the test that we did not include in our preparation material. 


EPIC’s Key Features

Included Practice Materials

Test prep material include: 2019 State Bar Preparation Packet Practice Essays with Model Answers; EPIC 2019 Practice Essays Set I with Model Answers; EPIC 2019 Practice Essays Set II with Model Answers; EPIC 2019 Set I Practice Multiple Choice Questions with Answers; EPIC 2019 Set II Practice Multiple Choice Questions with Answers; EPIC 2019 Mock Exam Essay Questions and Answers; EPIC 2019 Mock Exam Multiple Choice Questions and Answers

Exam-focused lectures

EPIC is structured as 12 video lectures with study outlines geared to the topics covered on the Specialization Exam—offering approximately 18 hours of MCLE and Specialization hours.

Trusts & Estates Library

Our Intensive Course users tell us that they love augmenting their weekly reading assignments with all the other rich material in CEB’s OnLAW Pro practice area libraries. Get additional insight and analysis for the concepts you need more help with. Access lasts for 1 year from purchase.

Unlimited on-demand MCLE

Above and beyond your assigned Learning Path with the curated Intensive Course materials, you’ll get unrestricted access to CEB’s full library of on-demand CLE videos. Watch what you want, when you want. Access lasts for 1 year from purchase.


Need more information about becoming a certified specialist?

Learn more about specialization and the exams from the State Bar