What is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA)?

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on March 11, 2023

A Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) is an expert in the field of successions, trusts and estates.

CEPA help their clients develop customized plans so they can avoid needless taxes and protect their assets for generations to come.

A CEPA will review your current plan and talk to you about ways you can change it so that is most advantageous for you and your loved ones.

They can also help you with:

  • developing a will or trust
  • transferring assets tax efficiently
  • and more.

If you are considering your estate planning options, or if you would just like to have a professional review your plan, then you should consider using the services of a CEPA.

They can help you make sure your family is taken care of in the event of your passing, and that your assets are passed on to the right people in the most tax-efficient way possible.

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The services a CEPA can perform are the following:

  • Advise on the best way to structure your estate so as to minimize taxes and protect your assets for future generations
  • Review your current estate plan and make suggestions for improvement
  • Help you set up a will or trust
  • Assist with transferring assets in a tax-efficient manner
  • Prepare for the possibility of incapacity
  • Make or appoint a guardian for your child if necessary, among many others
  • Assist in the development and drafting of documents to help ensure that your estate leaves behind as little burden as possible on family members

Who Would Benefit From Using a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA)?

Anyone who wants to pass on their wealth to the next generation should consider using a CEPA.

Estate planning is more than just amassing assets for your heirs, it's also about knowing how to transfer that wealth so that it remains protected and tax efficient under the law.

A CEPA can help ensure that your desires are reflected in your estate plan without having to hire an attorney to write up your will .

For many families, the costs of hiring a good attorney could be prohibitive, so finding another option is important.

In addition, people who may not know where to start when it comes to estate planning often turn to a CEPA for guidance.

Estate Planner vs CEPA

An estate planner deals primarily with the management of assets that are already in place.

However, they focus on minimizing taxes and meeting fiduciary requirements under current law just as much as a CEPA does.

These professionals can typically help a client update or change their estate plan as needs dictate.

A CEPA, on the other hand, helps with exit planning – ensuring that you have an effective plan to pass your assets onto your heirs tax efficiently and according to your wishes.

A professional can also talk to you about potential pitfalls and how they might be prevented if you work with them during the estate planning process.

Why Should I Use a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA)?

There are several reasons why you might want to use the services of a CEPA:

  • They can help you develop a plan that is tailored specifically to your needs and takes into account all of the current laws and regulations.
  • They can help you avoid costly mistakes that can be made when transferring assets.
  • They can help you protect your loved ones from financial hardship in the event of your death.
  • They can help you pass on your wealth in the most tax-efficient way possible.
  • They are experts in the field of estate planning, so you can avoid having to hire an attorney in order to get the help you need in this area.

How Do You Know if You Need to See One or Not?

If you are unsure whether or not you need to see a CEPA, then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a will?
  • Do I have any assets that I want to pass onto my heirs?
  • Do I want to make sure my loved ones are taken care of financially in the event of my death?
  • Do I want to make sure my assets are transferred in the most tax-efficient way possible?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider speaking with a CEPA.

Remember, it is never too late to create or update your estate plan, and the professionals at Certified Exit Planning Advisors can help you with all aspects of your plan.

The Bottom Line

Certified Exit Planning Advisors offer a valuable service to families who are looking to pass on their wealth in a tax-efficient way.

If you are unsure of what to do when it comes to estate planning, then a CEPA can help you get started on the right track.

In addition, they can help you update your plan as your needs change over time.

Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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