What is STEP and what does it mean for our clients?


The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is a global professional body for lawyers that sets standards for training and education in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Estates and Tax.

Full membership of STEP is seen as a kite mark of excellence in these areas of law. The pathway to full STEP membership is rigorous and requires lawyers to qualify for the STEP Diploma by passing four core modules by examination:

  1. Administration of Estates;
  2. Administration of Trusts;
  3. Taxation of Estates and Trusts; and
  4. Estate and Trust accounting

The syllabus and examinations are notoriously demanding and are generally taken over the course of two to three years. This reflects the level of expertise required to competently advise clients in these increasingly complex areas of law. Acquiring full membership is a significant achievement.

We recognise that in the legal profession standards of service and expertise can vary. We pride ourselves on the expertise of our private client lawyers. Four of our senior lawyers are already seasoned full STEP Members and two others are currently studying for their STEP Diploma. This provides our clients with reassurance that their case is being dealt by an expert in their field.

All STEP Members are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct that requires them to act at all times with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community. Members are also required to keep up to date with the latest legal, technical and regulatory developments.

Our lawyers recognise that every client is different with a unique set of circumstances that require bespoke legal advice. We work closely with individuals and families to help them deal with their affairs. For some this may mean putting a simple Will in place to ensure the long term financial security of the family. For others it may involve a more complex Will incorporating complex trust arrangements.

For others they may require our expertise to deal with the administration of the estate of a loved one who has passed away. These can range from relatively straightforward estates to more complex estates requiring detailed tax advice, particularly in relation to high net estates or estates that include foreign assets or businesses. 

More information

To arrange a free telephone consultation please fill in the contact form on this page or email us at mail@pinneytalfourd.co.uk or contact us on 01708 229444 (Upminster Office) or 01277 211755 (Brentwood Office).

This article was written by Matthew Edwards, Partner in the Private Client Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of April 2020.



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