STEP - Advanced Certificate

STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation

STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation
Credits Awarding Body STEP

The course covers the law and best practice in relation to will preparation, enabling you to provide clients with technical, high-quality wills. By enhancing your client-facing skills, you will be able to offer your clients a holistic, comprehensive service that meets the highest levels of competence and professional standards.

As private wealth continues to grow significantly and family structures are becoming more complex, the need for properly qualified and capable will draftsmen continues to increase. Even well-drafted wills might not reflect the circumstances and real needs of the individual unless the will draftsman has the breadth and depth of knowledge to ask the right questions and advise the client appropriately.

This Advanced Certificate also forms part of the STEP Diploma in Will Preparation which fulfils the education requirements of full STEP membership.

You will be able to:

  • Fulfil your duty of care to your clients.
  • Take instructions for the preparation of a will.
  • Manage client interviews.
  • Advise your clients on the issues of tax in response to their particular needs.
  • Draft a will to meet your clients’ wishes and circumstances.

The course is designed for practitioners who have a fairly wide experience of both taking instructions and will drafting. It is assumed that students on this course have experience of drafting and execution of ‘standard’ wills and possess a basic knowledge of the taxation issues around will drafting. Students of this course typically include:

  • Will Writers
  • Solicitors
  • Financial Advisors and Estate Planners
  • Tax Advisors
  • Accountants
  • Support professionals and Paralegals
  • This course provides a much more in-depth view of the practice area than any other qualification in the industry; successful completion will evidence your higher level of study and specialist knowledge of law and practice in this area.
  • The course is reviewed and updated every year, to include updates to the tax year and any other relevant professional updates.
  • Ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation.
  • Can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the STEP Diploma in Will Preparation.
  • Blended delivery, including structured workshops designed and taught by experienced practitioners and tutors and access to an online learning platform.
  • Providing students with the ability to grow their own professional network, meet students from a range of professions, build relationships and share study tips/support as a cohort.
  • After successful completion, you will be able to use the dedicated STEP Will Writing Code logo to differentiate yourself from the competition. The Code is a set of ethical principles that demonstrate the standard of transparency and service you can expect from a STEP member or graduate of the STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation course when preparing a will.

Will Writing Code

This course is available for study once annually, with intakes beginning in May (and assessments taking place in November). The programme is delivered through a combination of online learning and three workshops and will take six months to complete. We recommend that you spend four to six hours per week on private study for the six months prior to the examination.

Enrolment onto this course will include the following:

  • A bespoke, hard copy course manual
  • Access to the online learning platform, which contains:
  • Self-assessment material
  • Distance learning support
  • Additional interactive online features, including an e-learning module on client engagement skills, assessment on client engagement skills and an online will-drafting exercise
  • Three full days of tuition led by industry experts, covering both legal and tax considerations of preparing wills
  • A copy of Parker’s Will Precedents. NB. Delivered to all new students by courier up to 4 weeks after the course start date or up to 4 weeks after enrolment if enrolment is after 17th May.
  • Examination and assessment fees.

The course is assessed by way of a five-hour open-book written examination which comprises 20 compulsory multiple-choice questions (each worth 1 mark), a 30-mark case-study style compulsory question, and a final section from which students must answer two 25-mark essay/problem style questions from a choice of three. The questions will be drawn from across the syllabus and candidates must achieve 50% 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 Will Preparation (England & Wales).

Course Timetable - 2022

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

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


Please be aware that workshops have a limited capacity to guarantee optimum teaching conditions. Therefore, where several dates are listed per workshop, we are unable to guarantee your selection of dates will be allocated to you.

Please check your final booking confirmation for your final workshop dates. If you have any queries, please email


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6 Months


Online Only

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.

Students enrolling for this course must have experience of drafting and execution of ‘standard’ wills, and possess a basic knowledge of the taxation issues around will drafting.



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