This module deals with the federal estate tax. Subtopics include: unification of the gift and estate tax, valuation of assets, inclusions in the gross estate, deductions and credits, calculation of tax due, filing requirements, marital and bypass trusts, partial interest charitable bequests, and estate tax planning to meet client objectives.

5-1: Describe the basic features of the federal estate tax
5-2: Analyze a situation to identify factors that would be relevant in determining the value of estate assets
5-3: Analyze a situation to identify property interests included in and items deductible from the gross estate, and credits available to an estate
5-4: Analyze a situation to calculate the federal estate tax
5-5: Identify the nontax characteristics of testamentary transfer techniques
5-6: Analyze a situation to identify estate tax implications and savings achieved by transfer techniques
5-7: Evaluate a situation to select the most appropriate testamentary estate transfer technique

Author: Kirsten Waldrip, JD, LL.M.

Kirsten Waldrip, JD, LL.M., is an associate professor of estate planning and taxation at the College for Financial Planning. Kirsten worked in private practice as an estate planning and administration attorney prior to joining the College. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies of business and communication, she received her JD from Syracuse University College of Law, and she received her LL.M. from University of Denver. You can contact Kirsten at

Complexity Level: Advanced