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Unveiling The Changes In STEP Provisions Third Edition

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

In the ever-changing landscape of law and regulations, staying up to date on important changes is crucial for both clients and professionals.

Previously, if a Will was drafted effectively, it would have included multiple pages of clauses which dealt with administrative provisions for your Executors and Trustees. This left Wills looking unnecessarily daunting and complicated for family members when the time came to administer the Will.

This position was changed in 1992 when Barrister James Kessler KC first helped to draft what is known as the STEP provisions. These condensed all the administrative powers required and can now be included within your Wills in one simple clause to keep them concise and streamlined, whilst maintaining the complex and administrative provisions required to administer a Will efficiently.

These provisions have recently been amended to the third edition, after the last release in 2011. This latest edition reflects some of changes in both law and practice since 2011. Similarly, to the second edition the provisions are split in to Standard Provisions and Special Provisions.

The Standard Provisions grant Trustees powers such as the ability to invest and manage Trust Property as though they are absolutely entitled to it. This includes being able to invest in land in any part of the world and maintain, repair, improve or develop Trust Property and Trust Property is defined as property of any nature comprised in the Trust Fund.

Special Provisions provide powers to Trustees which include the ability to use their direction, direction on the appointment and retirement of Trustees and the ability to delegate their powers, amongst many more administrative provisions.

Some of the changes in this latest edition include increasing the default age at which a beneficiary becomes entitled to income, if Section 31 of the Trustee Act 1925 applies, which is the power to advance income for maintenance during a minority. Section 31 provides that a beneficiary becomes entitled to income at age 18 however this was previously modified in the STEP provisions to age 21 and has subsequently increased to 25 in the latest edition. This means that unless specifically changed, the STEP provisions provide that it is at the Trustees discretion to advance income to a beneficiary up to their 25th birthday, at which point they become automatically entitled. This money can be advanced for maintenance, education or any benefit for the beneficiary.

Examples of when these provisions will be used by your Trustees could be if you have left your estate to your children and they inherit as a minor, their interest will be held in trust until such age as you have specified or if you have left a legacy and it is contingent on the beneficiary attaining a specified age, this will also be held in trust and administered under the STEP provisions.

Most of you, if you have a Will, will notice reference to the STEP provisions and it is important that you understand the powers that these provide for your Executors and Trustees. This is something that we at Wilson Browne will be able to guide you through when making your Will.

Charlotte Toms


Charlotte Toms


Charlotte is a Solicitor in the Private Client team at our Kettering office.