STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates

A specialist qualification that offers you a detailed insight into the different issues that arise when dealing with cross-border estate planning and succession worldwide.

This course addresses civil-, common- and Shari’a-law systems and case studies from a diverse range of jurisdictions, making it relevant to an international audience.

STEP Diploma

This Advanced Certificate can be taken as part of the STEP Diploma. Find out more

What does this qualification cover and how is it delivered?

What does this qualification cover?

The course modules are:

  • Introduction
  • Differences Between Common Law, Civil Law and Sharia Law Systems (and those that are Hybrid)
  • Private International Law of Succession and International Instruments
  • Formal and Substantive Validity of a Testamentary Document and Statutory Claims
  • Renvoi
  • EU Succession Regulation
  • Family Law and Civil Status
  • Property and Succession
  • An overview of tax considerations 
  • Winding up the Estate - Transfer of Assets to Heirs and Settlement of Liabilities
  • Information Exchange - Combatting Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Tax Evasion
  • Succession Systems


How is it delivered?

Delivered entirely online and catering for an international audience, this distance learning course takes six months to complete.

Candidates have access to a range of comprehensive resources through an online learning platform, which includes:

  • Soft copy course materials, including the course manual, allowing you to study at your own convenience;
  • Case studies with real-life scenarios that you might encounter in practice, designed to further develop decision-making skills and the ability to work through different types of issues;
  • Interactive online resources;
  • Self-assessment material for each module.

The final assessment requires candidates to submit a 3,500 word assignment based on a case study.

What are the benefits to me and my employer?

How will I benefit from this course?

As a result of successfully completing this Advanced Certificate 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 Sharia law systems, and their respective approaches to succession rights, joint assets, matrimonial property, wills and intestacy;
  • Be able to 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;
  • 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.

How will my employer benefit?

Completing the Advanced Certificate will enable you to:

  • Deal more effectively with complex issues of estate administration across multiple jurisdictions;
  • Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the impact of FATCA, EU Succession Regulation 650/2012 and the forthcoming Rome IV Regulations;
  • Enhance the service you offer your existing clients and gain enhanced credibility with prospective clients;
  • Enhance your capability within an international arena and across different legal systems;
  • Expand your business in a new direction and take on a more varied client base.
Entry advice and requirements

Who would find this qualification useful?

This Advanced Certificate is set at the level of the STEP Diploma. It is globally applicable and will be of interest to anyone involved in cross-border estates, who specialises in wills, succession and probate. This includes notaries, lawyers and accountants, as well as those working within banks that offer will writing and probate services, investment management firms and financial services.

What are the entry requirements?

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

As part of the STEP Qualifications and Membership Framework (QMF), you will need to have 60 Entry Level credits to enrol on this Advanced Certificate. Entry Level credits can be gained through completion of Entry Level Certificates and/or accreditation of prior certificated or experiential learning.

Further course details

How much will it cost?

For fee information please visit the CLTI website

For information on the next available course dates and locations, please visit the CLTI website

How do I apply?

Find out more information on enrolment

Help and advice

If you have any queries and would like to speak to someone you can either call CLTI on +44 (0)121 362 7733 or email [email protected]


CPD Policy

Members are required to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills to ensure a high standard of practice.

Find out more


We offer a range of member categories to suit your professional requirements, qualifications and experience.

Find out more

Our Education Partner: CLTI

The Advanced Certificates that make up the STEP Diploma are delivered by STEP's primary training partner, CLTI. CLTI is a professional training, education and qualifications provider for the financial services industry, and over the past 20 years, CLTI and STEP have worked together to develop more than 25 qualifications and training courses that fit practitioners’ needs, and support STEP’s Exam Route to Full Membership