How to become a member of STEP

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Membership of STEP Worldwide is achieved through membership of a local branch. Membership of the Irish branch is in accordance with the requirements of STEP Worldwide and membership is achieved solely through either:

A. The STEP Diploma for Ireland Route to entry ie. successfully passing the Diploma run jointly by the Law Society and STEP in Trusts and Estate Planning, or

B. The Qualified Practitioner Route to entry.

For any questions concerning membership of STEP Ireland please contact the Membership Education Secretary (contact details on STEP Ireland website).

(a) The Diploma Route to membership of STEP The Society’s Council will admit to full membership those who have one or more of the following qualifications:

 Solicitor

 Barrister

 Chartered Accountant

 Certified Accountant

 Fellow of the Irish Taxation Institute

 Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute

 Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (Trustee Diploma)

 Associate of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (Diploma in Wealth Management)

 Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (UK)

 Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK)

 Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK)

 Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK)

have at least two years experience in practice where a significant proportion of their practice is in trusts and estates

have successfully passed the Diploma in Trusts and Estate Planning run jointly by the Law Society and STEP.

Students of the Diploma route will automatically be admitted to Student Membership of STEP on commencing the Diploma. The Student Membership fee for STEP is included in the fee for the Diploma Course.

Information on the Diploma Course can be attained by contacting Alison Egan at the Law School in the Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 ( 01-672 4802  01-672 4802 ) or clicking on the news or events section of this website.

Having obtained the Diploma, candidates should apply for full membership. Upgrade forms will be circulated to candidates at the end of the Diploma.

The fee for full membership for successful Diploma candidates is Sterling £160.00 for 2007-8

The Diploma Course is designed for those who already have some experience in the area of Trusts and Estates. For persons who do not have any practical experience in the area of Trusts and Estates to date but wish to build up their knowledge of this area in order to do the Diploma, STEP in conjunction with the Law Society run a Foundation Course from time to time. Details of this course may be obtained from Alison Egan at the Law School.

(b) Qualified Practitioner Route to Entry Requirements

The Society’s Council will admit to Student membership, via the Qualified Practitioner route, applicants who have at least two years relevant experience in the area of Trusts and/or Estates AND one or more of the following recognised professional qualifications:

 Solicitor

 Barrister

 Chartered Accountant

 Certified Accountant

 Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (UK)

 Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK)

 Fellow of the Irish Taxation Institute

 Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK)

 Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute

 Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (Trustee Diploma)

 Associate of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (Diploma in Wealth Management)

 Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK)

 or have none of the recognised qualifications but have ten years relevant experience with one or more of the planning, creation, management of and accounting for trust and estates, executorship administration and related taxes.

How do I acquire Full STEP membership via the Qualified Practitioner Student membership?

To attain Full membership of STEP, Qualified Practitioner student members must:

 Submit three papers of between 2,500 and 3,000 words in length, on topics selected from three out of a choice of four major topics relevant to trust and estate work in order to demonstrate a level of knowledge acceptable to the Society.

 Have registered for entry and topics to write by 30th November and submitted paper(s) by 30 April the following year. Topics are issued annually in August.

 Have successfully passed all three papers within four years from joining the Society.

 Have two years significant involvement, at specialist level, with one or more of the planning, creation, management of and accounting for trusts and estates, executorship administration and related taxes before becoming student members via this route.

A list of topics is issued annually by the Society and candidates will be expected to consider relevant legislation, case law, revenue practice, current accounting principles and administration procedures appropriate to the subjects chosen. The current topics selected by the Irish branch are given below.

Fees

Student Membership stg£70 per annum for 2007-8.

Full Membership stg£160 per annum for 2007-8.

Each paper will cost stg£150 to cover administration costs and marking fees. (increasing to £200 as of 1st January 2008)

Current fees can be found at www.step.org/STEPfees

How do I apply?

To make your application please download the Society’s prescribed application form from the website www.step.org/qp.

Full instructions on completing the form are included and should be followed carefully to ensure that your application is processed without delay. When completed, the application form should be sent to the STEP Worldwide Office.

You will receive notification of admission to the Society once the Membership Committee has approved the application. The Committee is not bound to give reasons for rejecting applications for membership. In the event of dispute, the decision of Council will be final.

STEP Ireland topics for 2008 submission can be found on the STEP website www.step.org/qp and do change every year.

Ireland Thesis titles 2008

A LAW

01 Ross v Caunters established the Duty of Care Principle in Will preparation and proper execution. Develop and comment on the Law involved and outline what steps practitioners might take to minimise the risk of negligence claims.

02 “A Trust is a relationship which arises whenever a person (called a “trustee”) is compelled in equity to hold property, whether real or personal, and whether by legal or equitable title, for the benefit of some persons (of whom he may be one and who are termed “beneficiaries”) or for some object permitted by law, in such a way that the real benefit accrues, not only to the trustee, but to the beneficiaries or other objects of the trust” – discuss the various types of trusts covered by this definition and identify the legal requirements for the creation of a valid trust.

03 Comment on the Law and Tax treatment applicable to charitable bequests and discuss the relevancy of the cy pres doctrine.

B ACCOUNTS AND ADMINISTRATION

01 Consider the accounting treatment of income and capital onterests and problems that can arise in accounting fairly for both interests, by relevance in particular, to special dividends, windfalls and share issues in place of dividends.

02 Comment upon the preparation of valuation reports of the deceased’s assets with particular reference to realisation and distribution.

03 Comment upon the matters Trustees should consider in the selection of an investment strategy and the appointment of an investment advisor.

C TAXATION

01 Consider the tax implications of Trustees winding up a discretionary settlement and the distribution to the beneficiaries of the Trust Fund.

02 Consider the advantages and disadvantages of business and agricultural relief from a tax point of view.

03 Consider the tax implications of a post-death family arrangement in respect of all property in both an estate and a trust.

D LOCAL ISSUES IRELAND

01 Comment on and describe the particular difficulties in winding up an Irish estate, which includes a house in Spain.

02 Explain the significance and effect of the proper law of a Trust describing how the proper law is determined and how it can be changed and detail reasons why it might be appropriate to so change.

03 Comment on the Issues which should be considered, form the perspective of the Finance Acts and will drafting, for a US domiciled client working in Ireland on a 5 year contract with an option to renew.