The role of the STEP Code for Will Preparation when disputing a Will

29 June, 2016

lawofficeWhat exactly is the STEP code? What role does it play when disputing a Will?

Many professionals who advise on issues relating to inheritance and lifetime planning, including preparing Wills, are members of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”).

STEP has developed a wide range of guidance notes, policies and standards for its practitioner members, including the STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales (the “Code”).

For a Will to be recognised as a valid testamentary document, it must satisfy a number of standard requirements. Amongst others, these relate to the mental capacity of the person making the Will (known as the testator) as well as whether the Will is in writing and has been correctly signed and witnessed.

The STEP Code is relevant to any dispute as to the validity of a Will because it provides guidance as to best practice and compliance with it will often make it harder to demonstrate that the Will fails to comply with the necessary formalities. Conversely, a failure to comply may be advanced as an argument supporting a challenge to the Will.

If you would like further information, please contact Philip Youdan at philip.youdan@crippspg.co.uk.  For further information about Will disputes and disputes involving trusts and estates please click here to view our Guide to Will Trust and Estate Disputes.