STEP - Diploma

STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates (England and Wales)

STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates (England and Wales)
Credits Awarding Body STEP
Credits Awarded 120
Credits Awarded Level Diploma-Level

The STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates (England and Wales) is recognised worldwide as the benchmark qualification for those working in the trusts and estates profession.

Course purpose

The course enables you to improve your technical knowledge of the issues arising in trust and estate practice, enhancing your ability to give holistic advice to your clients as a trusted advisor. It increases your understanding of the administration of trusts and estates and enables you to give practical advice on the law and procedures involved.

You will be able to

  • Describe the classification and types of trusts, their uses, what affects their validity, their premature cessation and under what circumstances they can and cannot be altered.
  • Advise on the taxation of each trust type.
  • Explain, advise and comment on the use of the trust in modern tax planning.
  • Understand and interpret the legal complexities and language pertinent to trust deeds.
  • Describe the roles, responsibilities, limitations and liabilities of trustees.
  • Advise on the legal formalities involved in the preparation of a valid will and be alert to the pitfalls.
  • Analyse the content and validity of an existing will, assess its value to a client and advise to what extent it will meet their objectives.
  • Advise on the tax-effective will.
  • Advise on the tax implications and legal considerations of making lifetime gifts and gifts made in contemplation of death.
  • Describe the roles, responsibilities, limitations and liabilities of the executor.
  • Advise on the legal management of the client estate, including probate and intestacy issues, evaluation of any risks involved, deeds of variation, disclaimers and insolvency.
  • Advise on taxation issues relating to the transference of private client wealth, specifically inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and how the burden of taxation can be minimised.
  • Construct and interpret trust and client estate accounts.

Course audience

Students of this course typically include:

  • Legal and trust professionals
  • Support staff and paralegals
  • Accountants and banking professionals
  • Charity specialists
  • Tax advisors
  • Independent financial advisors
  • Executorship administrators


  • Ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation, moving into or already working within the trusts and estates profession.
  • A recognised ‘gold-standard’ professional qualification for those working in the industry, globally recognised by employers, regulators, clients and professionals.
  • This course is also subject to the rigorous quality assurance procedures of Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS), a school of the University of Manchester.
  • Ability to grow your own professional network, meeting students from a range of professions providing an opportunity for networking, building relationships and sharing study tips/support as a cohort.
  • Students have the opportunity to submit academic queries to a dedicated programme content team.
  • Successful completion of the course will award students with 120 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership.

Format, Delivery and Assessment

*Now Online* We have committed to delivering all courses that are taking place from July until the end of December 2020 ONLINE, in response to the situation relating to COVID-19 — including workshops, revision classes and assessments.

Watch this space to learn how we are supporting our students through the transition to the online environment.

This Diploma programme comprises four standalone STEP Advanced Certificate courses that together cover the curriculum of the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates.

The four papers which comprise this Diploma are:

Each of these Advanced Certificates can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the Diploma Programme.

As of the May 2021 sitting for the STEP Diploma in Trust and Estates, we will be delivering three workshops as part of this course offering.

Over recent years our students have chosen to attend the optional, extra Revision/Computations Day as part of their study journey, and after evaluating feedback, have taken the decision to incorporate this session as part of the overall offering to provide further access to valuable tuition.

The introduction of this third workshop is intended to provide all students with the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge and learning ahead of the examination with their peers and the course tutor, enabling them to work through more specimen examination questions, participate in group discussions and ask any academic queries about topics they may be struggling with. Whilst the first two workshops will continue to cover some of the core subject areas and serve as touch points to support students during their studies, the third workshop towards the end of the study period will be focused on revision of the topics and preparing all students for the final examination.


There are no formal exemptions available for this course.

Awarded By



Blended Learning


24 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.




Anthony Miller

Anthony Miller has over 40 years’ experience in the field of probate and the administration of estates and trusts. Anthony is qualified with the Institute of Financial Services, having received the Trustee Diploma, and has been a Full Member of STEP since 1994.

Ian Bond

Ian is a TEP, specialising in private client work including wills and wealth planning; the creation and administration of trusts and estates; and the preparation of lasting powers of attorney and other Court of Protection work. 

Iris Wuenschmann-Lyall

Iris is a solicitor with extensive private client experience in trusts and estates. She advises on all trust and estate tax and capital tax matters, whether onshore or offshore, from the simple to the highly complex with a particular emphasis on assisting high net-worth individuals.

Julie Bell

Julie is a solicitor specialising in private client work. She is Head of Private Client at BBS Law in Manchester, advising on all areas of private client with particular emphasis on trusts and assisting high net-worth individuals.

Leon Pickering

Leon is a barrister at Ten Old Square in London. His practice has a particular focus on onshore and offshore trust and traditional chancery disputes, and the Court of Protection. Leon also advises on capital tax and succession planning.

Mark Vickers

Mark trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells. After qualifying, Mark became a lecturer at Caer Rhun Hall, North Wales, specialising in financial accounting, taxation, executorship and trust accounting.

Megan Saksida

Megan qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1993 and started lecturing almost immediately; firstly in the training department in the firm she was with and then externally. She is also qualified as a Chartered Tax Accountant (CIOT) and a trust and estate practitioner (STEP).

Rebecca Roscoe

Rebecca qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and completed the STEP Diploma in 2008. After 11 years in practice, culminating in partnership at Cottrills then Slater Heelis LLP, Rebecca founded her own practice, RJR Legal Ltd, specialising in wills and estate planning, with a particular focus on long term family estate planning. Rebecca is a tutor for the STEP Certificate and Diploma in Trusts and Estates.

Scott Clayton

Scott is a qualified accountant with over 30 years’ experience in the fiduciary services industry. He has been extensively involved in the creation, management and termination of trusts, charities and private client affairs and has a wealth of tax planning experience. 

Stephen Howe

Stephen has over 14 years’ experience advising on all aspects of personal tax, trusts, wills and estate planning.

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