STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates New Zealand

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A Diploma in Trusts & Estates, in affiliation with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is the worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with trusts, estates and asset planning.

What does this qualification cover?

  • The trust concept including transfer of assets into trusts and differences between declaration and deed of trust
  • Background/ history of discretionary family trusts in NZ (e.g. estate duty, mirror trusts etc.), and purposes of having a trust in a NZ context (including Family Protection ACT, Property (Relationships) Act, creditor protection)
  • Ways in which trusts may be rendered ineffective or 'attacked'
  • Trust instrument part 1
  • Trust instrument part 2
  • Other trusts - a brief intro to charitable trusts, super schemes and unit trusts, Maori trusts, resulting and constructive trusts

Who is the course for?

This Diploma has particular relevance to people whose working life touches on, or who are involved with trusts and estates:

  • General Practitioner Lawyers
  • Legal Executives
  • Accountants
  • Insurance Advisors
  • Investment Advisors
  • Trust Specialists
  • Trustee Company Employees and Managers
  • Law & Business Students

Each Advanced Certificate provides you with credits towards STEP Membership, enabling you to become either a STEP Affiliate or Technician. Completion of the Diploma will provide 120 credits towards membership of STEP, which when combined with prior qualifications and work experience, allows you to become a Full Member of STEP and use the coveted designation TEP.

Find out more about joining STEP and the Qualifications and Membership Framework at

Successful completion of the Diploma is a pre-requisite to becoming a full member of STEP.

Course Overview

The Diploma is a practical and hands-on course. It is specifically designed by leading New Zealand trust and estate practitioners. The course content of each Advanced Certificate will be delivered by trust and estate practitioners via a distance learning format, but with the added bonus of two weekend workshops in Auckland at AUT University, and culminates in an examination.

Each Advanced Certificate takes 14 weeks to complete, please refer to individual Advanced Certificate course dates. The option exists to participate in any one or more Advanced Certificates for which a Certificate of Proficiency will be awarded to successful candidates or all Advanced Certificates in order to be awarded the Diploma.

The Diploma comprises four Advanced Certificates:

Assessment Structure: Examination 100%

Student Learning Time: 122 hours comprising 24 hours class contact and 98 hours of independent study (6-8 hours per week)

Delivery Mode: Distance learning with two weekend workshops

Enrolment Information

Start date: Saturday 25 July 2015
Weekend class dates/ times: 9am - 4pm with an hour for lunch, 22 & 23 August and 3 & 4 October 2015
Exam/ end date: Saturday 31 October 2015

Applications for the first intake close Friday 17th July.

Cost:$1,950 plus GST


Delivery Mode: Distance learning with two weekend workshops (a live-stream of the workshops will be available to participants who are based outside of Auckland)

Student Learning Time: 122 hours comprising 24 hours class contact and 98 hours independent study (7 hours independent study per week)

Assessment Structure: Examination 100%

Cost: $1, 950 plus GST (per Advanced Certificate)