Online Graduate Certificate: Tax for Elder Law Attorneys

Many cases affecting clients involve tax issues. Because clients often fall in the middle class, they do not always need sophisticated tax planning. But, attorneys who represent older clients need to have an understanding of various tax issues that are frequently encountered by older clients. This program divides those issues into four discrete categories. This Certiciate program is best suited for attorneys who have been in practice at least 3 to 5 years and who do not have a Tax LL.M. degree.

Each of the four courses runs over a two week period, with approximately 30 hours of lectures/instruction per course. The attorney may take all four courses or may enroll in any of the four courses à la carte. Each course is only available during the dates in which it is offered.

Attorneys who complete all four courses will be eligible to take an assessment and upon passing the assessment, will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Tax for Elder Law Attorneys from Stetson University College of Law. 

Attorneys wishing to enroll in any of these courses must complete an application for enrollment. The attorney should submit the completed application along with a current CV. The Program Director will notify the attorney via email of the admission decision, at which time the attorney must pay the non-refundable fee for the course.

Applications will be accepted July 1, 2024 through September 6, 2024.

All courses are offered online and on demand to give attorneys the most flexibility in furthering their education on tax issues affecting clients. Each course is two weeks in length. A new lecture is available every weeknight during the course. At the conclusion of each week, sometime during that weekend, the instructor will hold a live two-hour Q&A session via Zoom to go more in-depth on specific topics.


Course sequencing: Although the attorney may take any combination of the courses, each course may only be taken during the dates they are specifically scheduled.

Reading materials: There are no books required for these courses. The instructor may assign some articles or cases for reading. Those readings will be provided within the Canvas learning management system.

Lectures: The lectures consist of pre-recorded videos and PowerPoint presentations. Lectures will become available each weeknight for the two-week period of the course. The attorneys will be responsible for watching the lectures and doing any projects that may be assigned. There are no grades and no exams for each course.

Time commitment: The attorney should plan to spend two hours per night during the work week for two weeks as well as four hours of live lecture, split between the two weekends book-ending the courses.

Foundations of Tax in Elder Law Practice
September 16 - September 28, 2024
Instructor: Michael Kirtland
Includes an overview of the interrelationship between Estate, Gift and Income Taxes. More discussion and analysis of income taxes and all issues related to tax issues of elders, including all income and deductions and credits for elders. All IRS forms related to this topic will be reviewed and discussed, including the tax return and schedules which report income and where deductions are taken. Capital gains vs. ordinary income rates are reviewed. Just as important to the subject of income will be deductions and exemptions and options for clients to reduce taxable income if taxes can’t be eliminated. Elder credits and childcare credits for a client who is responsible for a grandchild/dependent will be reviewed together with options where a child may take a credit for a dependent parent. Proposed tax law changes will be presented.

Foundations of Gift and Estate Taxes
September 30 - October 12, 2024
Instructor: John DeSantis
An overview of the history of estate and gift taxes will be presented together with an update as to the possible unification of the tax credit for both and tax rates. Details of inclusion of assets in an estate together with a sample Estate Tax return with all schedules will be reviewed. Expenses and deductions will be discussed. The DSUE will be prepared and utilized in the estate of the second spouse to die. Gifts (complete and incomplete) will be discussed along with the preparation of the Gift Tax return and use of the annual exclusion, unified credit and split gifts vs. sole gifts. Grantor trust rules will be explained.

Advanced Issues in Taxation for an Elder Law Practice
October 21 - November 12, 2024
Instructor: Benjamin Rubin
The taxation of investments will be discussed along with capital gains, savings bonds, annuities, stocks, bonds, CDs, sales of personal residences (both during life and post death and exceptions), and qualified plans (IRAs, 401K, 403B, deferred compensation plans). Distributions from IRAs post death to beneficiaries will be explained under SECURE and SECURE 2.0. Discussion will include options for the final year of an entity and alternative reasons for maintaining the entity or termination early. Calendar years and fiscal years will be reviewed. Funding and taxation of trusts created for protection of assets from long term care expenses will be included. Gifting to trusts and determination of completed gifts will be discussed. Funding 529 and ABLE accounts to be explained.

Additional Issues to be Utilized and Recognized by Practitioners
November 4 - November 16, 2024
Instructor: Hyman Darling
LLC’s, FLPS, and Corporations will be discussed as to their creation and implementation in an estate plan, including gift, estate and income tax issues to the entity and beneficiaries, which could include an estate or trust. Charitable gifts and more sophisticated options such as CRUTS, CRATS, Charitable Gift Annuities, Donor Advised Funds and use of a Community Foundation will be presented. Relationships with the CPA and financial advisor together with disclosure requirements, appraisal requirements and ethical issues of all issues will be discussed. Tax issues relative to Long Term Care Insurance premiums and payments will be included. Kiddie Tax issues and tax minimization strategies will be presented.

Graduate Certificate Assessment
Instructor: Katie Everlove-Stone
If the attorney is seeking the Graduate Certificate, once they have completed all four courses, they will be required to schedule a one-on-one program assessment via Zoom with Professor Everlove-Stone. The attorney must successfully pass the assessment to be awarded the Graduate Certificate.

Hyman G. Darling

John P. DeSantis

Katie Everlove-Stone

Michael A. Kirtland

Benjamin A. Rubin

The cost of each individual course is $3,000 ($100 per CLE hour). There is no additional cost for the Assessment needed to obtain the Graduate Certificate. 

There is a one-time $100 Program Technology Fee per student, regardless of how many courses are taken.

Tution and Fees must be paid prior to the start date of the course(s) in which a student has enrolled. 

No scholarships, discounts, or financial aid are available for this program.

Attorneys registered for one or more courses in the program will receive one (1) complimentary registration (either virtual or in-person) to the Tax Intensive pre-conference program at the 2024 National Conference on Special Needs Planning and Special Needs Trusts. Visit the SNT page for more info.

Stetson Law has applied to the Florida Bar for CLE credits for each of the courses. While Stetson Law does not apply for or pay for CLE credits in states other than Florida, we will provide attorneys with the materials needed to apply for CLE credits in other states. Attorneys should contact their state's Bar association with specific questions about obtaining CLE credits for these courses.

Program Details 

Format: Online
Duration: 2 - 8 weeks
Cost: $3,000 - $12,000

Program Staff 

Program Advisor
Hyman G Darling
Hyman G. Darling
Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Program Director
Jessica Zook
Jessica Zook
Director of Professional Education
Stetson Law
[email protected]