• Kylie Simmonds-Cox

What is a TEP?

Sterling Trust Corporation are represented by Trust and Estate Practitioners (TEPs) but what does this actually mean? What is a TEP? TEP stands for Trust and Estate Practitioner and is the designation given to full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

What is STEP?

STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. STEP members help families plan for their futures, from drafting a Will to advising on issues concerning international families, protection of the vulnerable, family businesses and philanthropic giving. TEPs are internationally recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience. To become a TEP, practitioners must have a combination of specialist qualifications and experience, including significant involvement with planning, creation, management of and accounting for trusts and estates, executorship administration and related taxes.

What do TEPs do?

As specialists in inheritance and succession planning, TEPs draft wills and trusts, administer estates, act as trustees and advise families on how best to structure their finances to ensure compliance and preserve their assets for future generations. TEPs often help people at difficult or emotional times, such as after the death of a close family member. Some examples of what TEPs may advise on are: providing for an individual following their partner’s death, while protecting the interests of their children ensuring elderly or vulnerable relatives are cared for and supported helping families with interests spread across the world to be compliant with the laws and tax rules of different countries ensuring that a family business will pass safely from one generation to another helping clients to support charitable causes in an effective way.

Why use a TEP?

Choosing a professional to help you to deal with such important and often sensitive issues can be difficult. Many aspects of planning are non-regulated, meaning anyone can write a will, for example, regardless of training or expertise. With a TEP, you’re in safe hands.

  • Expertise: TEPs are recognised experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience. By joining STEP and maintaining their membership they have also shown significant commitment to their continued professional development in this specialist area.

  • Integrity: TEPs are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them at all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community. These professional standards provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect from a TEP.

  • Knowledge: TEPs are required to maintain and develop the knowledge and skills relevant to their role as a condition of their continued membership. This means TEPs will always be up to date with the latest legal, technical and regulatory developments that may affect you and your situation.

  • Connections: TEPs have access to a global network of 20,000 professionals, enabling them to share knowledge and expertise across professional and geographic boundaries and to offer a joined-up service that can really add value to you as a client.

Affiliate and Associate STEP members

There are other categories of STEP membership, including Affiliate (entry-level) and Associate (mid-level) members. These members are either working towards gaining the requisite qualifications and/or experience for full STEP membership (TEP), or have chosen to remain at Affiliate or Associate level.

Further details can be found on the STEP website, www.step.org and you can find out more about our Trust and Estate Practitioners here.

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