Technical Corner: STEP Standard Provisions 3rd edition – coming soon!

Technical Corner: STEP Standard Provisions 3rd edition – coming soon!

Our ‘Technical Corner’ brings you information that will help you to continue to grow and develop in your career.

This month’s technical corner article comes from Emily Deane TEP, STEP Technical Counsel.

Emily Deane

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STEP is pleased to announce that the STEP Standard Provisions 3rd edition is due to be published later this year. The Standard Provisions is a publication for use by practitioners who draft wills, subject to the law of England and Wales, which sets out clear provisions to include in a will avoiding technical terms that may confuse the lay reader.

The provisions

The provisions are suitable for inclusion in any will and STEP encourages its members to refer to them in the wills that they draft. Reference to the provisions in the will is the standard way of providing the executors and trustees with the administrative powers that they need to administer the estate properly. If there is no need to apply the powers granted by the provisions then they will not be used.

The document is divided into the standard provisions, which is the main bulk of them, and the special provisions that cover some more unique aspects of administration. The standard provisions are contained in provisions 1-13 and the special provisions in 14-23.It is possible to elect which should apply. The standard provisions are appropriate for all trusts and estate. The special provisions are designed for use in more complex or sophisticated trusts and estates and the inclusion of each or any of the special provisions should only be considered on a provision by provision basis.


In the past any properly drafted will or settlement needed to contain a large amount of text dealing with routine administration matters which would result in a lengthy and sometimes rather intimidating document.  STEP condensed all of this material into its STEP Standard Provisions (1st edition) which was published in 1992 and enabled the will writer to reference the provisions in the will rather than writing them all into the will and bulking it out.  In 2011 STEP introduced an updated version of the provisions, referred to as the 2nd edition. It takes into account the changes in legislation since the 1st edition, namely the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and the Trustee Act 2000. However, it has once again become clear that the provisions need to be updated and modernised to reflect recent trust and will legislation changes. We are pleased to announce that the 3rd edition is on its way.

The 3rd edition

There have been several amendments to the new 3rd edition. The most significant is the standardisation of the clauses on Trust Corporations. The segregation of the standard and special provisions has been retained due to the provision in the 2nd edition allowing trustees to adopt the new 3rd edition in place of the 2nd edition. However, special provisions cannot be used if only the standard provisions of the second edition have been applied. In addition, judgments in recent cases have also been considered and applied to specific provisions alongside some of the common queries received from members that have been addressed accordingly.

We hope to publish the new 3rd edition of the STEP standard provisions in November this year.

Emily Deane TEP, STEP Technical Counsel


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