SOURCE: The NAEPC Foundation; The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils

September 12, 2008 09:00 ET

National Estate Planning Awareness Week Declared

October 20, 2008 - October 26, 2008 Named by the NAEPC Foundation and the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - September 12, 2008) - The NAEPC Foundation, in conjunction with the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, has declared the third full week in October of each calendar year to be National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Estate planning is consistently identified as a tool lacking in the majority of American households.

In an effort to combat this often-missed but critically important process, these two organizations have teamed up to encourage their network of 200+ affiliated local estate planning councils to present publicly-focused Estate Planning Day programs between October 20, 2008 and October 26, 2008. Check with your local estate planning council to see if it will be hosting such a program this year. It can be found here:

According to a 2004 survey from, 58 percent of Americans lack a basic will, generally considered to be the first document in an individual's estate plan. In addition, 69 percent lack a living will or medical directive (both documents communicate an individuals wishes for medical life support if that person is terminally ill or permanently unconscious). Only one-in-five, or 21%, have created a trust as a part of his/her estate plan. Most Americans cite insufficient assets or not being old enough as their reason for not creating an estate plan.

Walter Lee Davis, Jr., Atty, CPA, AEP, EPLS, President of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils said, "Too often our member estate planning professionals consult with clients following the death of a loved one, only to discover that either the decedent's estate was not planned at all or some key areas were simply overlooked.

"The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils and The NAEPC Foundation work together to provide continuing education for our 26,000 local council member professionals from all the disciplines involved in estate planning and to encourage multi-disciplinary cooperation so all the professionals (law, accounting, life insurance professional, trust administration and financial planning) review the plan to be sure that no aspect has been neglected. We provide materials for use by our 200+ local estate planning councils in holding an informative Estate Planning Day program for their community. We anticipate many more estate planning councils joining the ranks of the councils, which annually hold such a program, when we all celebrate Estate Planning Awareness Week on October 20 through 26, 2008. We sincerely hope that the public will become aware of estate planning and, before it is too late, seek guidance from professionals who are educated, licensed, experienced and credentialed."

The NAEPC Foundation was formed in 2005 to educate the public regarding the benefits of the team concept of estate planning. The organization's primary objective is to educate the public on what estate planning is, why it is so important and how to develop a team of qualified estate planners to assist with their needs. This goal will be achieved through continuing education programs like conferences, seminars, forums and meetings about estate planning for practicing professionals and through quality public Estate Planning Day programs in communities throughout the United States. The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) is a national organization of Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) and Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS) designation holders and approximately 200 affiliated estate planning councils focused on establishing and monitoring the highest professional and educational standards. NAEPC fosters public awareness of the quality services rendered by professionals who meet these standards. NAEPC builds a team approach involving cross-professional disciplines to better serve the public's need in estate planning. Visit for more information about either organization.

If you'd like more information about National Estate Planning Awareness Week, or to schedule an interview with Walter Lee Davis, Jr., Atty, CPA, AEP, EPLS, President of The NAEPC Foundation, please call Eleanor M. Spuhler at 866/226-2224 or e-mail Eleanor at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Eleanor M. Spuhler
    Tel. 866/ 226-2224
    Email: Email Contact