STEP is the worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with family inheritance and succession planning, estate planning and related taxation matters. STEP helps to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.
STEP has 18,000 members across 80 jurisdictions from a broad range of professional backgrounds, including lawyers, accountants, trust specialists and other practitioners. Taxation is a central interest to most STEP members. 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's primary focus is on professional development for practitioners in the fields of family inheritance and succession. STEP offers a number of formal qualifications ranging from entry-level programmes to advanced certificates and diplomas. These formal qualifications are supplemented by resources designed to provide continuing professional development and forums for knowledge sharing.
Full members of STEP are recognised by the TEP designation. All STEP members are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring members at all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of clients and the wider community. STEP members are also required to keep up to date with the latest legal, technical and regulatory developments.
STEP members spend their professional lives working with families and tackling real problems. Common issues for members to advise on are: providing for a husband or wife after the death of a spouse while protecting the interests of any children; ensuring that a family business will pass safely from one generation to another; care and support for elderly or vulnerable relatives; ensuring that families with interests and family members spread across differing countries are compliant with the laws and tax rules of different jurisdictions; and helping donors support philanthropic causes in an effective way.
STEP takes a leading role in communicating the practical viewpoint and expertise of members to governments, tax authorities, regulators and the public around the world. STEP helps governments and regulatory authorities examine the likely impact of any proposed changes by responding to consultations and providing technical advice and support where appropriate.
STEP has a centralized secretariat located in London England with approximately 30 full time staff.