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Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning

Start Date 12 September 2020 at 9:30 AM
Assessment Written assignment (20%) and two closed-book exams in May 2021 (40% each).
Delivery Method Online Saturday lectures and workshops (both interactive) 10am to either 1.30 or 3.30pm, and available to view on-demand
CPD Hours The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader Riona Leahy, Solicitor, Course Leader: R.Leahy@LawSociety.ie



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Application information

We are no longer accepting applications for this course.

To apply for a future offering of this course please add your name to the Interested List.


Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content.

Short video introduction

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will:

  • Advise clients on the creation of wills, the operation of trusts, associated tax implications and overall estate planning;
  • Highlight recent judicial decisions and legislative developments;
  • Assess the impact of recent developments on practice and procedure;
  • Develop their capacity for independent learning.

Programme structure and approach to learning

The Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning is offered jointly by the Law Society of Ireland and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).  The course has been designed by practitioners with specialist exposure to give a practical insight into key estate planning, legal- and tax-based concerns for private clients in the area of trust and estates. The focus of the diploma course is to enable successful candidates to advise clients on all aspects of the creation of wills, the operation of trusts, associated tax implications, and overall estate planning for clients. Practical in its approach, this course provides participants with real-life situations that practitioners face, and it gives real solutions to problems encountered.


The Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Course introduction

  • Lifetime and estate planning,
  • Basic legal principles,
  • Basic tax principles.

Module 2: Introduction to taxation issues

  • Application of tax principles,
  • CGT, income tax, stamp duty, CAT,
  • Double taxation agreements. 

Module 3: Lifetime and estate planning

  • Lifetime gifting and passing of value on death,
  • Legal issues and tax implications of wealth planning structures,
  • Financial planning. 

Module 4: Trust drafting

  • Requirements of a valid trust,
  • Classification of trusts,
  • Drafting an effective trust deed.

Module 5: Administration of trusts

  • Office of trustee and trustee powers,
  • Breach of trust,
  • Tax issues in trusts.

Module 6: Will drafting 

  • Testamentary capacity,
  • Solicitors’ duty of care,
  • Assisted decision-making. 

Module 7: Administration of estates

  • Applying for the grant,
  • Litigation,
  • Distribution of assets. 


Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the student’s knowledge. 

1Basic Tax Computations (including case study)26 September 2020 


2Lifetime Planning10 October 2020 10am-1.30pm
3Estate Planning07 November 2020 11am-1.30pm
4Trust Drafting21 November 2020 12:30pm - 2:30pm
5Administration of Trusts05 December 2021 


6Taxation of Trusts16 January 2021 10am-1.30pm
7Will Drafting30 January 2021 11am-1.30pm
8Taxation of Estates13 February 2021 10am-1.30pm
9Applying for the Grant / Duties of Personal Representatives13 March 2021 10am-1.30pm
10Estate Litigation / Applications / Pleadings27 March 2021 10am-1.30pm
11Exam preparation workshop10 April 2021 1:30pm-3.30pm


Written assignment (20%) and two closed-book exams in May 2021 (40% each).

Who should attend?

The course is intended primarily for persons who have practical experience in the areas of wills, trusts, estate planning, probate, and the administration of estates within Ireland. In order to participate on the course, you must have relevant work experience of at least one year in the areas covered on the course and one or more of the following qualifications: solicitor, barrister, certified accountant, chartered accountant, associate or fellow of the Irish Taxation Institute, associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (Trustee Diploma), associate of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (Diploma in Wealth Management), member of the Irish Institute of Legal Executives, or another professional qualification deemed equivalent by the Law Society and STEP.

Each application must be accompanied by the STEP affiliate application form, together with a cover letter and CV setting out details of your relevant work experience. All participants must be approved as affiliate members before they begin the course. All course participants will automatically become student members of STEP Worldwide, and this is included in your course fee. Successful completion of the course provides a structured route to full membership of STEP and the use of the internationally recognised ‘registered trust and estate practitioner’ designation. 

Please see STEP Ireland’s website (www.step.ie ) for full details of membership criteria.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-solicitors. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €300.


Lecturers are drawn from solicitors, barristers, financial and other professionals with a variety of probate, tax and financial backgrounds. All lecturers are members of STEP Ireland and are experienced practitioners in the area of wills, probate, trusts, tax and estate planning generally. 

Previous lecturers have included:
  • Donal Bradley, Donal Bradley Tax Advisors
  • Cormac Brennan, O’Connell Brennan
  • Owen Burke, Mullany Walsh Maxwells
  • Nuala Casey, Solicitor
  • Amanda-Jayne Comyn, Philip Lee Solicitors
  • John Costello, Orpen Franks
  • Alison Crawford, Joynt & Crawford
  • Allison Dey, Allison Dey Solicitors
  • John Donnelly SC
  • Karl Dowling BL
  • Catherine Duggan BL
  • Gráinne Duggan BL
  • John Gill, Matheson
  • Patrick Harney, Mishcon de Reya LLP
  • Carol Hogan, O’Connell Brennan
  • Áine Hynes, St. John Solicitors
  • Carol Jermyn, Carol Jermyn & Co.
  • Barry Kennelly, Davy
  • Aileen Keogan, Aileen Keogan Solicitors
  • Maria Lakes, Tracey Solicitors
  • Nora Lillis, Gartlan Furey
  • Miriam Wilson, M.T. Wilson Solicitors
  • Lydia McCormack, Matheson
  • Barry MacDonald, MacDonald Financial Consultants
  • Mary McKeever, Eugene F. Collins
  • Sandra Meade, O’Hanlon Tax Limited
  • Tracey O’Donnell, Deloitte
  • Ingrid O’Gorman, EY
  • Clodagh O’Hagan, Mullany Walsh Maxwells
  • The Hon. Ms. Justice Teresa Pilkington
  • Tina Quealy, O’Connell Brennan
  • Una Ryan, Grant Thornton
  • Anne Stephenson, Stephenson Solicitors
  • Margaret Walsh, Sheil Solicitors
  • Declan Whittle BL


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme  and download the CPD booklet. 

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2020. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


Riona Leahy, Solicitor, Course Leader: R.Leahy@LawSociety.ie

*Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.



This item is not available to book online