Certified Estate Specialist

Being successful in estate services is more than knowing how to sell; it is providing a service to families and estate stakeholders. Understanding the emotional and legal challenges of estates and transitions is key to identifying and solving problems for your client. In this course you will learn to recognize the various needs of your client, the comprehensive and complex process of estate liquidation, how to market and sell the assets, and how you can best profit from providing exemplary estate and transitional services. You’ll walk away able to communicate the value of your full-service offerings and increase your recurring clientele.

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Create and maintain a business of estate services
  2. Discover ways to prospect, attain and grow your estate business
  3. Identify opportunities in estate and transitional situations
  4. Identify what the family and stakeholders may be going through regarding the estate process
  5. Describe the probate processes and how to communicate with attorneys and paralegals
  6. Identify how transitional services can be more profitable as additional revenue streams
  7. Determine the full value of your service and structure a proposal to meet client needs
  8. Book and conduct estate and downsizing liquidations
  9. Describe the value of networking and utilizing available resources and partnerships

Requirements for the CES Designation

  • Be a member of the NAA
  • Register and attend all 24 hours of the CES designation class.
  • Complete and submit a Designation Application
  • Within two years of completing the class, submit an auction summary report with the elements discussed in class and included in the CES Auction Summary Rubric
  • To maintain the designation you must:
    • Be a member of the NAA
    • Pay the annual designation dues of $50 ($25 if also hold CAI) by October 31
    • Complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every three years

What CES can do for you

Earning any designation demonstrates your commitment to continuing education both to the public and members of the industry. It also enables members to network with like-minded individuals in the classroom and through additional networking events, but here are some specific benefits of an a CES designation.

CES is designed to help professional auctioneers understand how to properly conduct and deal with the settling of estates. The course also educates professional auctioneers on working with family members and dealing with lawyers and accountants. Knowing you have spent the time and effort to earn this designation will comfort families and prove that you have their best interests in mind.


CES will be held at Designation Academy at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas December 5-7, 2023

Apply for scholarships

CES Instructors

Mike Fisher is the President/CEO of Redfield Group Auctions, Inc. and has been in the auction industry since 1999.  He has conducted auctions in over 40 states, Mexico and the Bahamas and has received multiple national advertising awards. He is a featured speaker at many national/state conferences and seminars.
Director - National Auctioneers Association
Past Chair, Education Institute Trustees - National Auctioneers Association
Past Chair, Certified Auctioneers Institute - National Auctioneers Association
Instructor, Certified Estate Specialist - National Auctioneers Association
Past President - Alabama Auctioneers Association 
Governor Appointed to Alabama State Board of Auctioneers - Vice Chairman 


Shane McCarrell, CES
After over 12 years of active duty military service In both the United States Marines and the United States Army, my family and I call Middle Tennessee home. As a father of 6 children, I have been in the business since 2013. As a licensed Auctioneer, I have been elected onto the TN Auctioneers Association Board of Directors and an active member of the National Auctioneers Association. 2017 TN Rookie Bid Calling Champion. 2017 2nd Runner-Up at the Mule Day Bid Calling Competition. 2018 TN Volunteer Open Bid Calling Competition Champion. 2019 TN State Champion Auctioneer. Currently ranked in the top 15 internationally. As an auctioneer and announcer my passion, stage presence, and unique ability to interact with the crowd leads to maximum participation.
Justin Vondenhuevel, CAI, AARE, CES
Justin is the principal owner and Co-Founder of Vondenhuevel Auctioneers LLC in Mid Western Ohio where he and his wife Abby along with a full time staff specialize in Probate, Transitional Services, and Real Estate Auctions. Justin presently serves as a class advisor for the Certified Auctioneers Institute and as an instructor for the Certified Estate Specialist course, both for the National Auctioneers Association and is also an Instructor at Reppert Auction School.

David P. Whitley, CAI, CES
David lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and conducts auctions throughout the Rocky Mountain region. In the summer of 1986, he attended auction school at Western College of Auctioneering. He also attended the University of Wyoming, eventually earning a BS in Agriculture Economics and a Juris Doctor from the University Of Wyoming College Of Law. Whitley Auction currently conducts around 60 auctions a year in real estate, commercial and industrial liquidations, government surplus, business liquidations, estates and other specialties. Whitley is a graduate of the Certified Auctioneer Institute and is a Certified Estate Specialist. Whitley is a member of the Colorado and Wyoming Auctioneers Associations. He is an active member and past director of the National Auctioneers Association. He was previously the Chairman of the NAA’s Education Institute.