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.

All STEP courses are open for enrolment with delivery adjusted to ensure continuity of access to learning during the COVID 19 crisis. For courses not previously delivered online, teaching will be delivered through online classrooms and examinations via online assessment. For further information, please see advice on our primary education partner, CLT International’s, website

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.

This qualification is a collaboration between STEP and CLT International (CLTI).

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Course outcomes

How will this course benefit me?

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 this benefit my employer?

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

Course content and delivery

What does this qualification cover?

The course modules are:

  • Differences between common law, civil law and sharia law systems (and those that are hybrid)
  • Conflicts of Law and Private International Law
  • Habitual residence, domicile and nationality
  • Renvoi
  • Property and Succession
  • Family Law
  • Succession Systems – Countries that are not bound by the EU Succession Regulations
  • EU Succession Reg 650/2012
  • An Overview of Tax Considerations
  • Money Laundering, Information Exchange and other Legislation
  • Winding up the Estate

View the syllabus here (PDF 146KB)

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

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 information

How much will it cost?

Full members receive a GBP 50 discount. The course fee for all other applicants is GBP 995 + UK VAT.

The fee includes all learning resources, distance learning support and assessment fees.

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

Download the brochure here (PDF 113KB)

How do I apply?

Register online or download and return the enrolment form 

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