The CPA's Guide to Financial and Estate Planning

  • $79.00-$99.00
    The CPA's Guide to Financial and Estate Planning Online Access Product #: PPF1702D
    AICPA Member: $79.00
    Non-Member: $99.00

This comprehensive, 1000-page, 4-volume, downloadable (PDF) publication provides guidance to planners who advise clients in estate, tax, retirement, investment and risk management matters. The Guide explains all of the important planning concepts, and examines the techniques used to set and meet the financial goals of clients and their families.

ATRA makes permanent the largest exemption amounts for estate, gift and GST tax in the history of the Federal transfer tax system. The current estate planning environment, together with the increased exemption amounts, present significant wealth transfer opportunities for your clients. Estate planners now have an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate their value to clients through the estate planning strategies presented in the Guide. The Guide presents essential estate planning considerations you can discuss with your clients right now.

The downloadable PDF file includes four individual volumes of the Guide. Each file contains one volume of the Guide.


  • Learn the key concepts that every CPA should know about retirement planning.
  • Observe how the integration of these topics all come together to address the client’s fundamental concerns.
  • Recognize the unique retirement needs of specific groups of clients.
  • Reduce the possibility that key client retirement risks and needs are not overlooked.


The Guide is free to members of the PFP Section. Click here to access your copy. Click here for information on the Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Section and the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Credential.

Table of Contents

Volume 1 (2016)

  • Chapter 1: The Art of Financial Planning
  • Chapter 2: Estate and Client Analysis
  • Chapter 3: The Co-Ownership of Property
  • Chapter 4: Lifetime Gifts to Individuals
  • Chapter 5: Charitable Giving
  • Chapter 6: The Use of Trusts
  • Chapter 7: Life Insurance

Volume 2 (2016)

  • Chapter 8: Annuities
  • Chapter 9: Employee Benefits (Non-members can download this chapter for free!)
  • Chapter 10: Transfers Includible in the Death of the Estate
  • Chapter 11: Wills
  • Chapter 12: The Marital Deduction
  • Chapter 13: Powers of Appointment
  • Chapter 14: Selection and Appointment of Fiduciaries
  • Chapter 15: Postmortem Planning
  • Chapter 16: Planning for the Executive
  • Chapter 17: Planning for the Professional
  • Chapter 18: Closely Held Businesses – Choice of Business Form
  • Chapter 19: Planning for the Owner of the Closely Held Corporation

Volume 3 (2016)

  • Chapter 20: Planning for the Partner
  • Chapter 21: Planning for the Sole Proprietor
  • Chapter 22: Planning for the Farmer and Rancher
  • Chapter 23: Impact of Estate Freeze Rules on Intrafamily Transfers
  • Chapter 24: Planning for Marriage, Divorce, or Separation
  • Chapter 25: Planning for Same-Sex Couples
  • Chapter 26: Planning for the Elderly and Disabled
  • Chapter 27: Planning for Generation-Skipping Transfers
  • Chapter 28: Planning for a Personal Residence
  • Chapter 29: Medical Care by Proxy
  • Chapter 30: College Planning
  • Chapter 31: Investment and Financial Planning Strategies and Vehicles
  • Chapter 32: Family Income-Splitting Techniques
  • Chapter 33: Year-End and New Year Tax Planning
  • Chapter 34: Maximizing Deductions and Reducing Taxes
  • Chapter 35: Social Security Benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid (Non-members can download this chapter for free!)

NEW - Volume 4 (2016)

  • Chapter 36: Asset Protection: Problems, Issues, and Opportunities
  • Chapter 37: Portability: An Estate Planning Game-Changer – But Not As Simple As It Seems
  • Chapter 38: Planning for the Additional Medicare Tax and Net Investment Income Tax
  • Chapter 39: The Affordable Care Act: What Practitioners Need to Know and Do Now
  • Chapter 40: The Effects of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act
  • Chapter 41: Passive Activity Losses: Working with the Complex PAL Rules
  • Chapter 42: Planning for the 99 Percent – How to Plan for Estates Under $5 Million (Non-members can download this chapter for free!)
  • Chapter 43: Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services
  • Chapter 44: The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014: Tax-Favored Savings Plans for Disabled Beneficiaries 
  • Appendix

System Requirements

About the Authors

Sidney Kess, CPA, J.D., L.L.M

Of Counsel, Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP
Senior Consultant, Citrin Cooperman & Company

Sidney Kess, Esq., CPA, JD, LLM, was the recipient of the AICPA’s Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service to the Accounting Profession. This award is the highest award granted to a CPA by the Institute. CPA Magazine selected him as “Most Influential Practitioner.” He is author and co-author of hundreds of tax books on financial, tax, and estate planning. He is one of the nation’s best known lecturers in continuing professional education, having lectured to more than 1,000,000 practitioners. Mr. Kess is Consulting Editor of CCH’s Financial and Estate Planning Reporter. Mr. Kess was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Tax Hotline and is a member of the PPC, Tax Action Panel. He has edited a column, “Tax Tips,” for the New York Law Journal for the past 47 years.

Mr. Kess edits the AICPA’s CPA Client Bulletin and CPA Client Tax Letter. He is Executive Editor Tax of CPA Magazine, is on the editorial board of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ The CPA Journal, and is coeditor of that journal’s Financial Planning section. He has also written hundreds of AICPA tax workshops, audio and video programs, and is the recipient of the AICPA Distinguished Lecturer Award. Mr. Kess is often quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications. He was included in Accounting Today’s “100 Most Influential CPAs in the U.S.” for several years. Mr. Kess was the National Director of Tax at KPMG Main Hurdman and a tax partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Kess is the recipient of the AICPA’s "Special Recognition Award" for his many years of contributions to the AICPA’s continuing professional education program and was elected to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils for his distinguished service to the field of estate planning. Mr. Kess is also a member of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee.

Mr. Kess was the recipient of the AICPA’s 2015 Personal Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award.

The AICPA established the Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education to recognize individual CPAs who have made significant and outstanding contributions in tax and financial planning and whose public service exemplifies the CPA profession’s values and ethics. Sidney Kess was the first recipient of this award. Mr. Kess was selected as one of “125 People of Impact in Accounting” by the Journal of Accountancy in its June 2012 issue celebrating the AICPA’s 125th anniversary. Mr. Kess was inducted into the New York State Society of CPA’s Hall of Fame. He recently received the New York State Society’s Outstanding CPA in Education Award.

He received his JD from Harvard University School of Law, LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law, and BBA from Baruch College.

Steven G. Siegel, JD, LLM

The Siegel Group

Steven G. Siegel, JD, LLM, is president of The Siegel Group, which provides consulting services to attorneys, accountants, business owners, family offices, and financial planners. Based in Morristown, New Jersey, the Group provides services throughout the United States.

Mr. Siegel is the author of many books, including The Grantor Trust Answer Book (2017 CCH); CPA’s Guide to Financial and Estate Planning (AICPA 2016); Federal Fiduciary Income Taxation (Foxmoor 2017) and Federal Estate and Gift Taxation (Foxmoor 2016).

In conjunction with numerous tax planning lectures he has delivered for the National Law Foundation, Mr. Siegel has prepared extensive lecture materials on the following subjects: Planning for An Aging Population; Business Entities: Start to Finish; Preparing the Audit-Proof Federal Estate Tax Return; Business Acquisitions: Representing Buyers and Sellers in the Sale of a Business; Dynasty Trusts; Planning with Intentionally-Defective Grantor Trusts; Introduction to Estate Planning; Intermediate-Sized Estate Planning; Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: Explanation and Planning Strategies; Subchapter S Corporations: Using Trusts as Shareholders; Divorce and Separation: Important Tax Planning Issues; The Portability Election; and many other titles.

Mr. Siegel has delivered hundreds of lectures to thousands of attendees in live venues and via webinars throughout the United States on tax, business, and estate planning topics on behalf of numerous organizations, including The Heckerling Institute on Tax Planning, CCH, National Law Foundation, AICPA, Western CPE, the National Society of Accountants, Cohn-Reznick, Foxmoor Education, many state accounting societies and estate planning councils, as well as in-house training  on behalf of private companies.

He is presently serving as an adjunct professor of law in the Graduate Tax Program (LLM) of the University of Alabama and has served as an adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall and Rutgers University law schools.

Mr. Siegel holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), JD from Harvard Law School, and LLM in taxation from New York University Law School.

About the Publisher


About the AICPA The American Institute of CPAs is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.

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