What does STEP membership mean for Carisma Wills’ clients?
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, known as STEP, is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. STEP works to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members. STEP members help families plan for their futures, from drafting a Will to advising on issues concerning protection of the vulnerable, family businesses and philanthropic giving.
All STEP members are expected to abide by the STEP Code of Professional Conduct, which sets out the key ethical and professional standards they should uphold. STEP has a clear disciplinary process for investigating any potential breaches of the Code of Professional Conduct.
STEP members are from a variety of professions including accountancy, banking, financial advice, law, tax advice and trust administration, and 38% of all members are based in the UK and Ireland.
Carisma Wills Principal, Donna Hames, is proud to have been accepted as an affiliate member of STEP in 2017. Donna notes, “Membership of STEP may add a cost to our business but the benefits of membership far outweigh this additional business expense. The training opportunities, regular updates on relevant case law and expert interpretation and the kudos of being a STEP member when meeting other financial and legal professionals, are all valid reasons for renewing our membership each year.”
Donna explains further: “We have made a conscious decision to be a modern legal practice and the Carisma Wills team are all Paralegals, Legal Executives and Estate Planning Consultants, with relevant training and qualifications. We are specialists in private client work, not legal generalists. Our modern, airy and welcoming offices represent our style and approach to providing affordable, straightforward legal advice. For reserved activities (including the drafting of deeds, conveyancing and grants of probate) we have carefully chosen 3 trusted business partners, who themselves are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We also work closely with key financial professionals who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and our due diligence processes ensure that our clients receive competent, qualified advice from modern firms that share our customer-focussed ethos.”
Carisma Wills is also a full member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters and complies with the IPW Code of Practice, which is compatible with the STEP Code of Professional Conduct.
Find out more about the work of STEP and its members here.