Advice and Information

Below you can find information and resources to help you in planning for your family's future.

Some of the leaflets apply to specific regions or countries, so please take note of this before downloading the relevant one.

The leaflets can be downloaded here, and the England & Wales versions can be purchased in packs of 25 to distribute to clients and other members of the public.

To order copies of STEP leaflets please email orders@step.org with your request, confirming your STEP membership number. If you are not a STEP member, please confirm your invoice/delivery and email address. You will be sent an invoice via email. Upon receipt of payment your order will be dispatched. Each pack of 25 leaflets costs £20. Postage & Packaging: UK - £3.50, Europe - £4.95, Rest of the World - £6.50. For orders of more than one item, please add an additional £1 P&P per item.

Advising Families website

For people in the UK and Canada, STEP has a bespoke website with information and advice on anything from drafting a will to retiring abroad.

Glossary of common terms

We have put together a glossary of common words that you may come across when talking to an advisor or reading about issues in this area. This might give you a bit of a head start, but if you are talking to an advisor and not sure what something means, just ask.

Leaflets and factsheets

About STEP

STEP explained gives an overview of the Society, its membership and activities.

STEP explained (PDF 470KB)


About trusts

Trusts explained gives an overview of how trusts work and what they are most commonly used for, and corrects some of the widespread misconceptions held about trusts.

Trusts explained (PDF 2.3MB)



Why make a trust? provides a brief explanation of the benefit of making a trust, along with some frequently asked questions regarding trusts for members of the public.

Why make a trust? (PDF 290KB) England & Wales version. Updated 2020

What is a trust? Hong Kong version (PDF 386MB). Updated 2015.

Choosing a trustee: Read our article on what you should look for when choosing a trustee here


About wills

Why make a will? provides a brief explanation of the importance of making a will.

Why make a will? (PDF 270KB) England & Wales version. Updated 2020

Why make a will? Hong Kong version (PDF 480KB).


About what to do when someone dies

What to do when someone dies provides a brief outline to guide you through the process of what to do when someone dies: the steps that must be taken, the information that must be gathered and the legal terms that may be encountered.

What to do when someone dies (PDF 260KB) England & Wales version. Updated 2020

What to do when someone dies (PDF 430KB) Hong Kong version.


About powers of attorney

Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney? provides a brief explanation of a Lasting Power of Attorney, outlining the two different types and the main points to consider when creating an LPA for members of the public in England and Wales.

Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney? (PDF 420KB) England & Wales version. Updated August 2019


Why make an Enduring Power of Attorney? provides a brief explanation of an Enduring Power of Attorney for members of the public.In Hong Kong, Enduring Powers of Attorney make it possible to make provision in advance for the possibility of you becoming incapable of managing your own financial and welfare affairs during your lifetime.

Why make an Enduring Power of Attorney? (PDF 1. 2MB) Hong Kong version.


About being a personal representative (UK)

People often underestimate the huge responsibility and challenges of being a personal representative and the personal liability it brings if things go wrong. This article sets out a few common pitfalls personal representatives may fall into and should serve as a warning to anyone contemplating administering an estate without obtaining legal advice.

The challenges of being a personal representative (PDF 270KB)


About cohabiting couples (UK)

More than 3 million couples in the UK choose to cohabit, rather than marry or enter a civil partnership. If you are co-habiting, you do not have the same rights as a married couple; and contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’.

Cohabiting couples’ legal rights in the UK (PDF 300KB)