STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates - Northern Ireland

This Diploma, the industry standard, develops a practical understanding of the law and procedures involved in trust and estate administration, tax and accounting in Northern Ireland

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

Initially I only intended to study the first module ‘Administration of Estates’ as it was most applicable to my line of work but as I found the study both helpful and interesting I continued my studies to gain the full Diploma.

Apart from increasing my knowledge in administration and answering queries that had arisen in scenarios in practice, the skills acquired throughout the studies can be carried through the rest of my career.

Emily Morris TEP, Legal Executive, Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors

Course outcomes

What will I learn from this course?

On successful completion of the course 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 trusts in modern tax planning
  • Understand and interpret the legal complexities and language pertinent to trust deeds
  • Describe the trustee’s role, in particular their duties, powers and liability for breach of trust
  • Advise on the legal formalities involved in the preparation of a valid will and be alert to the pitfalls
  • Advise on the tax implications and legal considerations of making lifetime gifts and gifts made in contemplation of death
  • 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
  • Describe the role of the executor, from obtaining the grant of probate to the winding up of the estate
  • Advise on intestacy, joint and mutual wills, post-death variations 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 the trust and client estate accounts

How will my employer benefit?

  • By providing the employee the ability to demonstrate knowledge of the most up-to-date issues affecting trusts and estates.
  • Provide your clients with assurance that you are a highly qualified trust and estate practitioner and trusted advisor.
  • Provide your practice with a competitive edge by employing TEP qualified practitioners.

Course content and delivery

What does this qualification cover?

The Diploma programme consists of the following four Advanced Certificates:


How is it delivered?

The programme is delivered through a blend of distance-learning and face-to-face workshops. In order to pass, you must successfully complete a three-hour closed-book examination in each of the papers.

Who the course is for

Who would it be useful for?

The course is relevant for a range of practitioners including members of the accountancy, banking, legal and trust professions (at all levels); charity specialists; a wide range of support staff and paralegals; tax advisors; independent financial advisors and executorship administrators.

Entry criteria

As part of the new STEP Qualifications and Membership Framework, applicants for a STEP Advanced Certificate are required to gain 60 entry level credits prior to enrolling on the course. Entry level credits can be gained through the standard application process or through credits gained from a STEP Certificate.

You can gain 60 entry level credits by any combination of the following:

  • Relevant prior qualification - Up to 30 entry level credits (maximum)
  • Relevant experience - Up to 30 entry level credits (maximum)
  • STEP Certificate(s) - 60 entry level credits

Further course information

How much will it cost?

The course fee for this Diploma is GBP695 (plus VAT) per Advanced Certificate.

This fee includes:

  • Course manual
  • Face-to-face tuition; two workshop days per paper
  • Distance-learning support
  • Self-assessment material
  • Examination fee

Where is it available?

Workshops and examinations are held in:

  • Belfast

What are the course dates?

For full details of course dates, please visit the CLTI website

How do I apply?

Register online or download and return the enrolment form

CPD Policy

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

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CLT International

Our training partner CLT International provides a range of courses for those working in the UK trust and estates industry.

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

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