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Article from Michael Young, Tax & Trusts specialist at Thrings
Trusts, Estates & Wealth Planning in association with STEP Chairman STEP firstname.lastname@example.org www.ttuk.comThe Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is the world- In this climate STEP’s role as guardian of the highest standards of professional practice, is a vital and valuable resource for practitionersestates, executorship and related issues. STEP aims to promote the and their clients alike.”highest professional standards through education and training lead- In England and Wales the legislative framework enabling alterna-planning across future generations to governments, professionals, tive business structures [ABSs] came into being with the passing of16,000 members, with almost 6,000 members in the UK.STEP also actively promotes continuing professional development among framework for ABSs. STEP members’ attitudes to alternative business structures [ABSs] areboth clients and the wider community. determined by whether they see them as a threat or an opportunity. There was a slim majority for those who thought ABSs will createits members about the future of their business. This was initially under- more awareness and hence more custom for private client practitionerstaken as a response to the global economic crisis. across the price spectrum. Nevertheless, it was strongly felt that ABSs will revolutionise the way services are delivered and that a collision of differing cultures and regulatory regimes will provide challenges.The landscape for STEP members in the United Kingdom is very dynamic.New regulations, new competition, new business practices are all combin- competing on price and those offering bespoke services and that clients will be more ready than they have been historically to move from onefuture of the Trust and Estate industry in the UK entitled ‘Trusted Advisor: service provider to another. They also thought that fewer TEPs wouldThe Future’. What emerges most clearly is the fact that members in the UK offer will drafting services as a loss-leader. They predicted the demand for the multi-disciplinary approach will result in the increased use ofThere were three main conclusions of the STEP report: Finally, members agreed that the industry was moving towards the ‘One Trusted Advisor’ model where the advisor knows their client,However, on a positive note, STEP members consider themselves to be bet- and knows a network of specialists that they can manage to handle allter placed than non-members to deal with increased regulation. A majority areas of estate administration.of respondents thought that the prospective regulation of non-lawyer Safeguarding legal frameworkincreased regulation on costs will make it disproportionately harder for Laws in the industry are constantly being amended and STEP takes a leading role as an advocate for its members by having a dialogue with and the public around the world. STEP has consistently campaigned for fair, transparent and consis-through the internet is also having an impact on clients’ needs in the trust to enter into long-term commitments.and estates market. This information is leading to clients making more STEP thus highlighted the damaging impact of proposed changes to - -vices. The increasing availability of information through the internet willalso result in downward pressure on pricing. changes in legislation. - STEP worked closely with the EU in ensuring that proposed changesman of STEP, said: “I think it is vital that practitioners ensure that the -advice they offer clients is of the highest order and that the service from visers to implement. STEP has also been working closely and positivelypractitioners represents good value for money. Anyone offering a service