The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is the worldwide professional body which promotes high professional standards and education for its members.

Becoming a Full STEP Member is a benchmark many solicitors strive for: it is the top professional qualification for a Wills, Trusts and Probate solicitor. Full qualification allows a practitioner to demonstrate their knowledge, passion and commitment towards their specialist line of work.

The process to become STEP qualified is highly rigorous. Practitioners who are studying for the STEP Diploma must complete four modules – Administration of Trusts, Administration of Estates, Taxation of Trusts and Estates, and Trust and Estate Accounting.

After months of studying, which is mainly conducted independently in the practitioners own time, a three hour exam must be passed. Once all four exams have been passed, the practitioner, who must have at least two years’ experience in the profession, can then apply to become a Full Member.

What are the benefits?

The STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates equips a solicitor with both an academic and professional qualification recognised throughout the industry. Full members are able to show a full knowledge of the most up-to-date issues impacting upon trusts and estates, providing assurance that the solicitor is both a trusted advisor and a highly qualified trust and estate practitioner.

The Highest Professional Standards

STEP members are expected to uphold the key professional and ethical standards as set out in the STEP Codes of Conduct. The Codes of Professional Conduct provide a clear set of principles for a member’s professional activity, giving each the understanding they need to deliver to the highest expectations.

For example, when creating a Trust in a Will, STEP members will abide by the Codes of Conduct and the STEP Standard Provisions of Best Practice.

What does this mean for the client? It means:

  • They will receive the best advice,
  • From a regulated expert,
  • Given and written in the clearest manner to understand.

Being STEP qualified gives a solicitor the highest level of credibility and therefore an unrivalled edge over other solicitor and services out there. Dealing with a solicitor who is STEP qualified also gives the client the assurance that they are dealing with something who truly knows what they are doing so that problems do not occur further down the line.

STEP Members at Gorvins

Here at Gorvins we are proud to have 2 fully qualified STEP members and 3 student members working towards full qualification:

  • Michael Smoult – Fully Qualified – Step Manchester Committee Member
  • Julie Burgess – Fully Qualified
  • Almas Patankar – Student Member
  • Kelly Hurst – Student Member
  • Sam Kirwan – Student Member
  • Nathan O’Sullivan – Student Member

Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team are experts in the preparation of wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, estate planning for business owners, inheritance tax planning and advising on court of protection applications amongst many other areas.

To get in touch with our specialist team give us a call on 0161 930 5151, send an email to or fill in our online contact form.

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