STEP - Advanced Certificate

STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates

STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates
Credits Awarding Body STEP
Credits Awarded 30
Credits Awarded Level Diploma-Level

This course offers a detailed insight into the different issues that arise when dealing with cross-border estate planning and succession worldwide. 

Course purpose

The course will explore the issues that advisers need to consider when advising clients with a cross-border aspect to their estate, taking examples from common law, civil law, shariah law and hybrid jurisdictions.

You will be able to

  • Understand the factors that need to be taken into account when resolving issues of conflict of foreign laws.
  • Appreciate the fundamental differences between common law, civil law and Shariah law systems, and their respective approaches to succession rights, joint assets, matrimonial property, wills and intestacy.
  • Advise on the concepts of habitual residence, domicile and nationality, and their application to different scenarios.
  • Understand the concept of renvoi and its application.
  • Advise how particular assets in an estate will devolve under different systems taking into account how property is held, issues of intestacy and the application of any relevant conventions/Reg 650/2012.
  • Provide guidance on how marriage and registered partnerships, adoption and surrogacy can affect succession.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of succession systems and the interaction between those jurisdictions bound by Regulation 650/2012 and those that are not.
  • Advise on the practical application of EU Regulation 650/2012 and the approach taken in jurisdictions not bound by Regulation.
  • Explain the tax regimes adopted in different jurisdictions.
  • Describe the effect of any applicable tax treaties on any investments held by the deceased.
  • Know how to administer a cross border estate in practice.

Course audience

The course is designed for all professionals dealing with wills, succession and probate in relation to cross-border estates.

Students of this course typically include:

  • Wealth Managers
  • Estate Planners
  • Solicitors/Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Tax Advisors
  • Notaries
  • Advocates
  • Family Business Advisors
  • Private Bankers
  • Family Office Executives
  • Financial Planners
  • Trust Officers
  • Trustees


  • Gain an understanding of the complex issues involved in dealing with estate administration across multiple jurisdictions and be able to advise clients accordingly.
  • Practical examples from a wide range of jurisdictions so that students can see how the knowledge they learn is applied in practice.
  • The course is reviewed and updated every year, to include the latest industry changes.
  • Ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation.
  • Access a 40% discount on the cost of purchasing European Cross-Border Estate Planning textbook, written by Timothy Lyons (Sweet & Maxwell). Full details of how to take advantage of the discount are included on the online learning platform.
  • Designed, written and delivered by leading industry experts.
  • Successful completion provides 30 Diploma Level credits.

Format, Delivery and Assessment

This course is available for study twice annually, with intakes beginning in January and July (and assessments taking place in May and November). The programme is delivered online and will take four months to complete. We recommend that you spend four to six hours per week on private study for the six months prior to the assessment.

Enrolment onto this course will include the following:

  • access to the online learning platform containing:
    • bespoke course reading 
    • self-assessment tools
    • distance learning support
  • assessment fees.

The course is assessed by way of an end of course written assignment based on a published case study. The case study will be published two months ahead of the submission date. Candidates will produce a written assignment of between 3,500 and 4,000 words to address the questions contained within the case study. Candidates must achieve 50% in order to pass the Advanced Certificate. 

Once you have successfully completed this course, you will gain 30 Diploma Level credits towards STEP membership and be awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates.

Course Schedules

Course Timetable - 2021

Please note all courses until end December 2020 and throughout 2021 are being delivered fully online. Please visit ‘2021 Delivery’ for further information.


There are no formal exemptions available for this course.

Fees and Booking

The STEP discounted fee applies only to students with Full STEP Membership.

Course Start Date Book Course
July 2021 995.00 945.00

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Awarded By



Online Only


4 Months

Entry Criteria

60 Entry-Level Credits

Note: Applicants must have obtained 60 STEP Entry-Level credits to enrol onto this course or be a member of STEP. Visit STEP's Qualifications and Membership Framework to understand how to apply.

It is assumed that applicants have, as a minimum, experience and knowledge of succession and estate administration in their own jurisdiction.




Michael Wells-Greco

Michael is a solicitor with extensive experience of advising individuals, banks and other organisations on cross-border private client and family law matters. His work covers all aspects of international family law, including adoption, divorce and surrogacy, as well as complex international succession planning and wealth structuring.

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