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Certificate in Estate and Trust Administration


Program Overview

The CETA program is designed to enhance the knowledge and performance of Canadian estate administrators, trust officers, junior trust officers, retail bankers, law clerks, junior associates, paralegals, wealth management sales representatives, and administrative assistants working in the area of estates and trusts. CETA will be of value to individuals who want to advance their careers and employers who want to avail themselves of the many business opportunities resulting from today’s changing demographics. Organizations staffed by knowledgeable estate administrators and trust officers who can skillfully manage this changing market will attract new opportunities and clients.

The CETA program consists of three courses and one final cumulative exam that covers the material from the three courses. The three courses follow a self-study curriculum and are delivered online. Online examinations require a functioning webcam and microphone and access to administrative rights on your computer. CETA 1 does not have a scheduled exam date and can be completed at any time. The CETA 2-3 courses and the final cumulative exam (CETA 4) have scheduled exam dates which are held three times per year, typically on the first Monday in March, June, and September. Registration into the program is ongoing with the registration deadline set at 30 days before the exam date.

The CETA program does not directly lead to the TEP designation but may be used to bridge the knowledge gap for those new to the trusts and estates industry or those working in supporting roles. Students that complete the CETA certificate will be eligible for an exemption from the third course in the STEP Canada Assessment by Exam program.

Program Timeline

It is possible to fast-track through the CETA program and complete the requirements in one year, however students have four years from the date of registration into CETA 2 to complete the program. Since registration is offered on a rolling basis, you will have four calendar years plus the additional months to the next exam date. For example, if you register in January 2020, you will have until March 2024 to complete all your exams (January 2020 – January 2024 plus an additional 2 months to allow for your final examination in March 2024). Courses can only be taken one at a time and must be taken in order.

French Language Civil Law Courses

The first course in the CETA program, The Foundations of Estate and Trust Administration, is available in French for civil law. Registration into the French CETA 1 course is completed by sending an email to education@step.ca after completing the online registration into the English CETA 1 course. Civil Law courses in English are available for each CETA course as the material is blended to cover both common and civil law. Students will study the material that is relevant to them.

Membership Requirement

There is no membership requirement for CETA 1 as this is course is available as a standalone offering. Registration into CETA 2 requires that you have a membership in good standing. Upon registering into CETA 2, your registration for affiliate membership will be added to your course registration. Membership fees are not pro-rated and the membership cycle runs from March to April annually. The annual membership fee for students is $220 per year. You are required to keep your membership in good standing for the duration of your program.

Foundations of Estate and Trust Administration


Course Overview

This course provides an introduction to the legal systems that govern the field of study and to the roles and responsibilities of trustees, personal representatives, and substitute decision-makers. It provides a detailed review of the law of wills and the steps for administering an estate. It also introduces students to the Canadian tax rules that apply on death and the taxation of trusts. Between 40-50 hours of study time before the examination is recommended. The course material covers both common and civil law, students will only need to study the law applicable to their jurisdiction. The fee for this course is $795 plus applicable tax.
Note This course is available in French Civil Law. After registration into the English CETA 1 course, email education@step.ca to request a transfer into the French course.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Compare the roles and responsibilities of personal representatives, trustees, agents, and substitute decision makers
  • Determine the validity of a testamentary document
  • Identify, value, and safeguard estate assets and liabilities
  • Identify the beneficiaries of an estate
  • Identify the tax returns required on death; and
  • Calculate the compensation for personal representatives

Course Delivery and Evaluation

The CETA 1 course follows a self-study curriculum which is provided in an online learning environment. Inside of the online learning environment you will have access to examination support resources such as: practice questions, and an online forum to engage in course-related discussion with your peers. There is one 2-hour cumulative, closed-book online examination that is delivered using a remote-proctoring service. The passing grade for the examination is 60%. The examination is not scheduled and can be taken at any time. You have 6 months to complete your examination once you are registered.

Pre-Requisites

None, this is an entry-level foundations course.

Advanced topics in estate and trust administration


Course Overview

This course builds on the material covered in the CETA 1 foundations course, students will study the law of trusts and special topics in estate administration in more detail. Between 40-50 hours of study time before the examination is recommended. The course material covers both common and civil law, students will only need to study the law applicable to their jurisdiction. The fee for this course is $595 plus applicable tax.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain the rules that govern the interpretation of a will or trust
  • Explain spousal and dependent rights on death
  • Explain the uses of personal trusts and summarize the legal requirements
  • Determine if a valid trust has been created
  • Explain and provide examples of trustee duties and powers
  • Explain the rules that govern breach of trust, and
  • Explain the requirements to vary or terminate a trust

Course Delivery and Evaluation

The CETA 2 course follows a self-study curriculum which is provided in an online learning environment. Inside of the online learning environment you will have access to examination support resources such as: practice case questions, an instructor Q&A forum, and an online forum to engage in course-related discussion with your peers. There is one 2-hour cumulative, open-book online examination that is delivered using a remote-proctoring service. Examination sessions are available in March, June, and September. Upon registration you will choose your exam date. The passing grade for the examination is 60%

Pre-Requisites

CETA 1 completed within the last five years.

Estate and Trust Taxation


Course Overview

The course provides a detailed review of the taxation of estates and trusts from the perspective of the fiduciary. Between 40-50 hours of study time before the examination is recommended. The fee for this course is $595 plus applicable tax.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Summarize the basic rules for taxation of an individual
  • Summarize the attribution rules
  • Explain the post-mortem planning opportunities to minimize taxation in the year of death
  • Summarize the rules for taxation of income in a trust
  • Explain the elections available when filing a T3 trust return
  • Identify potential US and other foreign tax liabilities, and
  • Explain the Canada Revenue Agencys administrative role and enforcement powers

Course Delivery and Evaluation

The CETA 3 course follows a self-study curriculum which is provided in an online learning environment. Inside of the online learning environment you will have access to examination support resources such as: practice case questions, an instructor Q&A forum, and an online forum to engage in course-related discussion with your peers. There is one 2-hour cumulative, open-book online examination that is delivered using a remote-proctoring service. Examination sessions are available in March, June, and September. Upon registration you will choose your exam date. The passing grade for the examination is 60%

Pre-Requisites

CETA 2 -Advanced Topics in Estate and Trust Administration

CETA 4 - Certificate Exam


Course Overview

To obtain the CETA certificate, a final cumulative examination is required. The examination is based on the learning objectives of the three CETA courses, there are no additional course materials provided for this exam. Within the context of case studies, students will be expected to identify the relevant issues, apply the applicable law, and demonstrate administrative decision-making skills. The certificate examination fee is $295 plus applicable tax.

Evaluation

The examination is a 3-hour cumulative, open-book online examination that is delivered using a remote-proctoring service. Examination sessions are available in March, June, and September. Upon registration you will choose your exam date. The passing grade for the examination is 60%. Inside of the online learning environment you will have access to examination support resources such as: the CETA certificate exam study guide, practice case questions, a subject-matter expert Q&A forum, and an online forum to engage in discussion with your peers.

Pre-Requisites

CETA Courses 1 to 3


Getting Started

  • 1
    Create and Activate your Account

    To get started with the Assessment by CETA program, Create a New STEP Canada Account. Once completed you will receive an account activation email, please be sure to check your junk folder.

  • 2
    Enroll online through the MY STEP Portal

    Once logged in to your MY STEP account you will have access to the Education menu, select Assessment by Exam Enrollment. Course registrations are processed within two business days. Once your registration is complete you will receive an email with course access instructions.

Connect with the Education team

If you need further information about the Assessment by CETA program and would like to connect with our Education team quickly, you can schedule a meeting using the calendar below or send an email to education@step.ca







FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I sign up now but need more time to prepare for the exam?

You can defer your exam without financial penalty as long as you provide 30 days notice. You will be able to take your course exam at the next available session. The deferral process and other administrative procedures are covered in the course outline that students receive once they are registered.

Do you have exam centres?

There are no exam centres, or any in-person requirements as part of the Assessment by Essay program. Examinations are completed online through a remote proctoring service.

Are there networking opportunities for students?

Yes! Upon your initial registration into the program you will be asked to select your branch affiliation. You will be notified of branch events by email from our Member Services team, you can also find events at https://step.ca/events. Students receive either complimentary or reduced-rate attendance to branch seminar sessions and networking events. Additionally, students enjoy reduced rates for National events.