The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys was started in 1993 by Sanford Fisch and Robert Armstrong. It has since become the premier organization in the nation for promoting the best results for estate planning. The two men were enjoying a great deal of success at their firm before realizing that they had one of the best work-related problems possible: too many clients.

Sharing Proven Practices

Throughout the course of their professional work, Fisch and Armstrong had learned, tried out, and proven certain systems to make their law practice more efficient. These practices involved client care, marketing, and management. They then saw a chance to help other professionals use the knowledge and methods they had already shown will bring success.

This is how the Academy came to be. It’s now a way of making these quality-oriented and time-tested systems more available and accessible to other attorneys. They have since grown to provide these services in over 45 states in the U.S. and have members that are widely recognized for their expertise.

What Does the Academy Do?

The Academy is still operated and owned by its original owners and bases its systems on some of the best estate planning law principles in America. It has a membership for estate planning attorneys that is highly exclusive and uses cutting-edge practices. These practices have been thoroughly tested and come from the thriving Southern Californian firm, Armstrong, Fisch & Tutoli, APLC.

The AAEPA keeps its members ready for success by staying up-to-date with elder law services and estate planning. The idea is to promote successful estate planning practices, provide services, technical support, and products to its members, and provide courses for continuing education. Though they do provide a high standard for estate planning practices, it’s not strictly necessary to hire a lawyer that’s part of the Academy.

What Else do they Provide to Members?

The idea behind the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys is that you shouldn’t have to be an unhappy, burned-out lawyer. They exist to help lawyers begin, grow, or transition into a law practice centered on successful estate planning and have the track record to prove it. The goal of this organization is to equip others to reach their goals with the support, systems, and tools they need to create their dream practice.

Members of this academy are some of the best estate planners available in the country as the organization has stringent requirements for Continuing Legal Education. They require 36 CLE credits each year in Trust Administration, Probate, Elder Law, and Estate Planning.

The Academy has been sought-after and highly regarded as a resource for both consumers and attorneys. They have been recognized by Money Magazine, Consumer Reports, and the book, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman.

What Makes Members of the AAEPA Unique?

Focused Knowledge

Academy members focus their practices on only estate planning matters, reinforcing their knowledge every day. They recognize how important it is to coordinate your financial goals, legacy, and estate. In addition, they can work along with your existing advisors as a team.

Client Care Standards

Most AAEPA members offer their clients expanded services like in-home consultations to offer more personalized service.

Professional Training

Members of the Academy get ongoing training specifically relevant to estate planning, ensuring that their techniques and knowledge stay up-to-date with the latest resources and information.


Since Academy members are educators in the estate planning field, many of them conduct workshops on a regular basis in their cities. These are conducted to educate and inform financial advisors and consumers about estate planning topics and issues.

Estate Planning Topics Covered by The Academy

AAEPA members offer advice and guidance to clients in all areas of estate planning. The services below are some of what they cover:

Estate Planning

Basic estate planning will involve consultation to make sure your estate is handled the way you want and that it’s distributed as decided.

Retirement Planning

This ensures tax-deferred accounts will give your family the best tax advantages by being structured the best way.

Creditor Protection

This involves discovering the best way to protect your heirs and estate in terms of creditors.

Planning for Special Needs

If you have any special-needs family members, special needs planning will ensure that they are protected.

Divorce Protection

Protect your family members and get expert advice on issues regarding divorce. How will the estate plan change and what will happen in this case?

Asset Protection

Get your questions answered and receive professional guidance on the best way to protect your legacy.

Assistance with Probate

If someone passes away who either had or did not have a will, you can receive the assistance you need.

“Technically speaking, probate is the legal process for transferring your assets to your heirs, based on the law in the state where you lived,” said personal finance editor and Forbes contributor, Richard Eisenberg. “Each state has its own limits for the size of an estate that can be transferred simply without going through probate.”

They also help with:

  • Legacy Wealth Plans: this is a plan you can create to make sure you’re leaving behind the legacy you prefer.
  • Tax Plans: this increases the chance that you can reduce your taxes and preserve your wealth.
  • Buy-out Plans: this involves the plan created for your family to sell assets and land.
  • Health Care Instructions: planning out long-term health care will make sure your loved ones know exactly how to handle your medical care.
  • Trust Administration: creating a Living Trust will address the unique needs of your family. This customized plan will involve getting guidance in case of the death of a family member.
  • Remarriage Protection Remarriage protection can ensure that your heirs’ interests are covered in case your surviving spouse gets married again.
  • Living Trust Guidance: you can create a living trust that is specifically customized to take care of the unique needs your family has.
  • Advanced Planning: this involves matters like Charitable Remainder Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Funds, and Family Limited Partnerships.
  • Wills: outline your desires by preparing a will and other related documents.
  • Updating Information: it’s crucial that you keep your information up-to-date. Regularly reviewing your estate and restating and amending it as necessary will ensure it’s still how you want it.


Call Arizona Estate Attorney Dave Weed at (480)467-4325 to discuss your case today.

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