Estate Planning and Administration

Professional Development Plan


This professional development plan takes you step by step through the most essential elements of estate planning practice.

Usage note
  • Overview
  • Unit 1: Overview and Initial Client Contact in an Estate Planning Matter
  • Unit 2: Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes
  • Unit 3: Fundamental Testamentary Planning
  • Unit 4: Marital Deduction Planning
  • Unit 5: Lifetime Asset Transfers
  • Unit 6: Charitable Giving Outright and in Trust
  • Unit 7: Life Insurance
  • Unit 8: Retirement Benefits
  • Unit 9: Marital Agreements
  • Unit 10: Estate Planning for Nontraditional Families
  • Unit 11: Postmortem Estate Planning
  • Unit 12: Preserving and Protecting the Family Business
  • Unit 13: Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, and Health-Care Proxies
  • Unit 14: Planning for Incapacity/Elder & Disability Law
  • Unit 15: Guardianships and Conservatorships
  • Unit 16: Medicaid and Creditor Protection Trusts
  • Unit 17: Trusts
  • Unit 18: Irrevocable Trusts
  • Unit 19: Drafting Estate Plans
  • Unit 20: Drafting Wills & Trusts
  • Unit 21: Ethical Issues for Estate Planners
  • Unit 22: Preparing Fiduciary Income, Gift, and Estate Tax Returns
  • Unit 23: Probate Practice
  • Unit 24: Fiduciary Litigation, Including Will Contests, in the Probate Court


New Lawyers: To help you get started on your professional development path, try your first Unit for FREE – a $50 value. Once you make your choice, choose the red "Select Free Unit" button. Please note: you will be asked to verify your Massachusetts Bar admission date and BBO number to complete your free selection.

This professional development plan takes you step by step through the most essential elements of estate planning practice.

How to Use the Plan

Click on a unit to identify relevant online resources that have been selected from MCLE’s collection of programs and publications. Then click on any link to

  • view a recommended program or specific lecture,
  • read a relevant chapter,
  • select a sample form, or
  • choose a training module with a practical demonstration by MCLE's highly experienced faculty.

The resources identified represent only a small portion of what is available on MCLE’s website. To see what else is available on any given topic, click the “See All MCLE Resources” link at the bottom of each unit to conduct a search for other full programs, individual lectures, chapters and forms.

Ongoing Updates and Additions

We continue to work on this plan and are adding dynamic content to each of these topics on a regular basis, including new programs and lectures, information from our books, and demonstrations. Keep checking back for updates and new material. We also look forward to your suggestions on how we can make this plan the most effective tool for your professional development and training needs.

Other Available Resources

In addition to the resources available through the professional development plan, MCLE offers in-person programming for developing core competencies and providing opportunities to engage with the estate planning and administration practice communities. MCLE’s signature BasicsPlus!® programs help you master the fundamental concepts, law, and skills to represent your clients successfully. These one- and two-day primers include Estate Planning, Elder Law, Estate, Gift & Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Fiduciary Income Taxation of Estate & Trusts, and Probate Practice. For practical drafting guidance from the experts, don’t miss Will & Trust Drafting Techniques, a five-session course offered every winter that gives you a toolkit of provisions to help you prepare will and trust documents. MCLE’s annual New England Estate Planning Conference and New England Elder & Disability Law Conference provide cutting-edge analyses of the latest practice developments and opportunities to share ideas with attorneys in similar practices from around the state.

Note to Firm Training Directors and Law School Librarians & Clinical Program Directors

MCLE’s professional development plans have been designed to complement in-house training and law school educational programs. Firms can tailor plans to the specific needs of their training programs—taking associates unit by unit through an entire practice area plan or targeting only the areas of greatest relevance. Law school faculty and clinical program directors can use professional development plans to identify lectures, demonstrations, articles and forms for use in the classroom, as a supplement to classroom presentations, or to support the student’s representation of clients in the school’s clinical program. If your firm or law school subscribes to the MCLE OnlinePass®, all the electronic resources included in MCLE’s professional development plans are instantly accessible to everyone in your firm or school.