STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales
A number of Legal Advisers within Mayo Wynne Baxter’s Probate, Trusts and Wills department are Members of STEP – the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, which is a worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with family inheritance and succession planning. The Society helps to improve public understanding of issues faced in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its Members.
STEP has 19,000 Members across 80 jurisdictions from a broad range of professional backgrounds, including lawyers, accountants, trust specialists and other practitioners in this area. STEP Members help families plan for their futures, specialising in a wide range of activities, from drafting a relatively simple Will to more complex issues surrounding international families, protection of the vulnerable, family businesses and philanthropic giving.
STEP was one of many organisations that supported the regulation of Will writing in England and Wales. The UK government, however, called on professional bodies to develop their own codes of conduct specifically covering Will writing in England and Wales, following which STEP has introduced a binding set of principles and expected practices for all Members in England and Wales, which will take effect from 1 April 2014. The STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales lays out a set of ethical principles that demonstrate openly the standard of transparency and service a client can expect from a STEP Member preparing their Will. All STEP Members preparing Wills in England and Wales are bound to adhere to this Code in addition to STEP’s overarching professional standards, as a condition of membership.
Although all of Mayo Wynne Baxter’s Probate, Trusts and Wills team are experienced and trained Will writers, if your Legal Adviser is also a Member of STEP you can therefore be sure that they will pay particular attention to how best to meet your individual needs while at the same time operating within appropriate standards. You may request a copy of the Code for reference at any time and full details will be included in the Terms of Business provided to you at the commencement of your matter. If you have any questions about this please contact a STEP Member for further clarification.