Claire Clarke, solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors in Peterborough, Stamford and Oakham has been awarded full membership of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. STEP works to promote high professional standards among its members. Claire is currently the only full member of STEP in Oakham.
Claire's expertise lies in all aspects of wealth management, including drafting Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, dealing with probate applications and administering estates together with Court of Protection applications and care home planning.
To be accepted for full membership, Claire followed the Qualified Practitioner route which is open to practitioners who already have a recognised professional qualification and at least five years of post-qualification experience. To demonstrate her existing knowledge and understanding in this specialist area, Claire was required to complete three 5000 word thesis papers on different areas within the STEP fields.
Greg Baker, Partner and Head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate department at Hegarty Solicitors commented, “We are delighted that Claire has been awarded full membership of STEP and has demonstrated her expertise in this area. To become a full member of STEP, practitioners must have a combination of specialist qualifications and experience, including significant involvement at a specialist level. We are proud to now have four solicitors who are full members of STEP in our team and one affiliate member of STEP, which means we are able to offer our clients expert advice from solicitors who are highly qualified in their area of law.
“Many aspects of wealth planning are non-regulated, meaning anyone can write a Will, for example, regardless of training or expertise. It is therefore important to choose a professional who is qualified to support you with these matters to ensure you are protected”
Full STEP members are subject to a Code of Professional Conduct which means they are required to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients. In England & Wales, STEP members who draft Wills are also bound by STEP's Will Code. These professional standards provide reassurance to clients that they are being supported by an expert. It also gives clients a clear understanding of the standards they can expect.