STEP publishes new Standard Provisions for Wills

Monday, 31 October, 2011

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has today published the second edition of their Standard Provisions for Wills. They provide an easy way for will drafting professionals in England and Wales to summarise provisions which are common in almost all wills.

Clare Colacicchi, member of STEP’s UK Technical Committee said: “The STEP Standard Provisions are extremely useful when preparing professionally drafted wills. By including reference to the Standard Provisions the draftsman can cover the essential legalities common to almost all Wills.  This removes at a stroke the need to clutter the Will up with copious technical provisions and helps ensure clients can more easily understand what’s been written.”

The new edition represents the first change to the provisions since they were first published in 1992.  They have been redrafted to respond to changes in the law and to highlight the distinction between those provisions which are common to almost all wills, and those provisions – now known in the document as the Special Provisions - which are either more contentious or require more careful explanation and may therefore not be appropriate in every case.

Along with the second edition of the Standard Provisions, STEP has also published the updated Guidance Notes for the Standard Provisions. Both the STEP Standard Provisions second edition and accompanying guidance are now available on the STEP website.

James Kessler QC TEP drafted both the first and second editions of the STEP Standard Provisions and was awarded this year’sOutstanding Contribution to the Profession Award at the STEP Private Client Awards for his work.

Today’s publishing comes after a lengthy drafting and consultation process. Thirteen drafts of the second edition were brought in stages to a wider audience and consulted on by STEP members and interested members of the profession. 

The Guidance notes for the Standard Provisions were drafted by Toby Harris TEP. They are intended for use by Will-drafting practitioners as both a guide for how to use the Provisions and to help readers understand what has changed from the first edition.

Training on the redrafted provisions will form part of the new STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation.