STEP and TEP – What are the benefits?

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), is an organisation devoted to improving public understanding of the issues families face in relation to inheritance and succession planning.  Promoting education and high professional standards among all of its members is vital to STEP.

A number of qualifications are offered by STEP, from entry level programmes to advanced certificates and diplomas.  These qualifications are supplemented by resources that provide continuing professional development.  Continuing professional development equips professionals to deal with an ongoing rapidly-changing business environment, and this is a requirement of professionals who wish to maintain a STEP membership.

As specialists in inheritance and succession planning, STEP members draft Wills and trusts, administer estates, acts as trustees and advise families on how best to structure their finances to ensure compliance and preserve any assets they have for future generations.  An example of what STEP members may advise on is providing for someone following their partner’s death, whilst protecting the interests of the children too.

A Trust Estate Practitioner, also known as TEP, are full members of STEP.  To become a TEP, practitioners must have a combination of specialist qualifications and experience, including significant involvement at a specialist level regarding inheritance and succession planning.

Using a TEP means that you are in safe hands.  They are professionals with expertise in specific areas, as they have proven qualifications and experience.  Choosing a professional to help you deal with important and sensitive issues can be a challenge.  However, with a TEP, they know what they are doing and how to protect your best interests.

TEPs are required to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills relevant to their role as a condition of their membership to STEP.  Ultimately, this means that for the clients, TEPs will always be up to date with the latest legal and regulatory developments that may affect them,  therefore ensuring that your matter is dealt with correctly and in your best possible interests.

TEPs are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them to act with integrity at all times.  These professional standards provide clients with a clear understanding of what to expect from a TEP.  Importantly, it also gives clients an opportunity to complain or proceed to the disciplinary process if it is not felt as though the TEP is acting in accordance with these standards they are required to maintain.

Overall, TEPs are there to help and provide you with the best possible service they can.  With their expertise in trusts and estates, up the date knowledge of all legal developments and their standards of integrity, it is certain that they will provide you with the best possible service they can.

At Forbes, we have two members of STEP, Mrs Patricia Prescott and Mrs Victoria Motley who can be contacted on 01772 220022.

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