The Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning  prepares attorneys to deal with the tax implications of wealth transfers and with the related non-tax, investment and business succession planning issues. The breadth and depth of coverage of both the tax and non-tax aspects of individual and estate planning distinguishes the curriculum from traditional graduate tax programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning is highly selective, and decisions are made as applications are received. Candidates are therefore encouraged to complete their applications as early as possible.

Performance in law school Income Tax and Trusts and Estates courses, as well as a candidate's overall law school record are of particular interest in evaluating the application. Although many students enroll each year without prior legal experience in estate planning beyond academic courses, consideration is given to any such prior experience. Prior to enrollment, applicants must have earned a J.D. or LL.B. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and must have successfully completed the equivalent of both a J.D. trusts and estates course and a basic Federal Income Tax course at the J.D. level.

Curriculum Requirements

Required Core Courses
EPL 910Federal Income Tax, Trusts, and Estates3
EPL 911Corporate Tax2
EPL 928Introduction to Estate Planning and Probate2
EPL 936Partnership Tax3
EPL 939Income Tax for Estate Planning2
EPL 946Federal Wealth Transfer Tax3
Modular Courses
EPL 901Elderlaw1
EPL 903Ethical and Practical Aspects of Estate Planning1
EPL 904Fiduciary Administration1
EPL 905Asset Protection1
EPL 908Marital Deduction Planning1
EPL 909International Estate Planning1
EPL 912Charitable Gifts and Foundations1
EPL 913Tax Procedure1
EPL 915Chapter 141
EPL 920Valuation1
EPL 924Planning for the Family Business1
EPL 925Drafting for Estate Planners1
EPL 926Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax1
EPL 929Life Insurance1
EPL 930Distributions from Qualified Plans1
EPL 931Investment Planning1
Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
Capstone Project
Total Credit Hours31

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
EPL 910 Federal Income Tax, Trusts, and Estates 3
EPL 911 Corporate Tax 2
EPL 928 Introduction to Estate Planning and Probate 2
EPL 936 Partnership Tax 3
EPL 939 Income Tax for Estate Planning 2
EPL 946 Federal Wealth Transfer Tax 3
 Credit Hours15
EPL 901 Elderlaw 1
EPL 903 Ethical and Practical Aspects of Estate Planning 1
EPL 904 Fiduciary Administration 1
EPL 905 Asset Protection 1
EPL 908 Marital Deduction Planning 1
EPL 909 International Estate Planning 1
EPL 912 Charitable Gifts and Foundations 1
EPL 913 Tax Procedure 1
EPL 915 Chapter 14 1
EPL 920 Valuation 1
EPL 924 Planning for the Family Business 1
EPL 925 Drafting for Estate Planners 1
EPL 926 Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax 1
EPL 929 Life Insurance 1
EPL 930 Distributions from Qualified Plans 1
EPL 931 Investment Planning 1
Capstone Project
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours31