The School of Financial Planning Law at the University of the Free offers students the unique opportunity to attain the necessary academic qualification and skills to become fiduciary practitioners who will be able to provide advice on a multitude of platforms including administration of trusts, estate planning, administration of deceased estates, drafting of wills and legislative issues surrounding the fiduciary services industry.  

This programme is the only programme that is currently endorsed by the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa (FISA) as a relevant qualification to be awarded the FPSA® designation and it is the only qualification that is currently accepted by FISA as examination requirement to apply for FPSA® status.

The Advanced Diploma in Estate and Trust Administration has also been recognised as meeting STEP’s requirements to become a full STEP member, known as a TEP making it the only South African accredited Diploma of this global professional association. The STEP global network is made up of more than 20,000 practitioners across 95 countries, bringing together lawyers, accountants, trustees, and other specialists. Full STEP members, known as TEPs, are internationally recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience.

The Advanced Diploma in Estate and Trust Administration is on NQF Level 7. The SAQA ID is 97594.

Admission requirements

For admission to the Advanced Diploma in Estate and Trust Administration, one of the following is required:

  1. An applicable Bachelor’s or other relevant degree, or
  2. An applicable diploma or advanced diploma, or an NQF Level 6 qualification with a minimum of 360 total credits.
  3. A student can, with the consent of the Dean, at the recommendation of the Education Committee (appointed by the School for Financial Planning Law), and in consultation with the Registrar, also be admitted on the basis of a qualification that they regard as equivalent, or on condition that the student, in some other way, achieved a standard of competence that they regard as adequate for the purposes of the study.

Recognition of prior learning

Applicants without the relevant qualifications, but that have at least three years’ relevant experience in the financial planning or fiduciary services environment, have the opportunity to enrol for the Advanced Diploma in Estate and Trust Administration, based on the completion of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme. Contact the RPL office at +27 51 401 7357 or

Duration of studies

The minimum duration of the course is one year. Students must complete all four modules for this diploma. Students do not have to register for all the modules simultaneously; they have two years to complete the diploma.

Academic Overview




Regulatory Environment

Regulatory Environment deals with the regulatory environment and legislation that governs the fiduciary services industry. At the end of this module, the learner will be familiar with the most important legislation to ensure that he/she will not act illegally, unethically or negligently. The learner will be able to explain, identify, and apply all the formalities with regard to deceased estates, wills, and the administration of trusts.



Administration of Deceased Estates

The student will be able to apply the theoretical principles regarding the administration of deceased estates to practical examples for testate as well as intestate estates. The student will be familiar with the most important legislation to ensure that they act in accordance with the laws that govern the administration of deceased estates.


Trust Administration

Trust Administration focuses on the legislation that governs the administration of trusts as well as the practical implementation thereof. Students will be able to explain the practical applications of a trust for various legal and commercial purposes. Students will be able to advise clients on the use of trusts for different estate-planning purposes.



Estate Planning and Drafting of Wills

Students will be able to apply all the legal formalities to the drafting of a will. Students will learn to consult with clients and to acquire the correct information to draft a valid will. Students will use the knowledge they acquire to interpret clauses in a will and to rectify any problems. The student must be able to apply legal and tax solutions in all areas of estate planning. Students will be able to explain, understand, and apply the objectives of estate planning and the estate-planning process. Students will understand that estate planning is a holistic study with many varying but interlinking components, and that all of these components must be considered and addressed to produce an effective and practical estate plan.

View short video that provides an overview of the programme here 

Important dates

Applications open: 1 June 2023

Applications close: 15 January 2024
Closing date for Registration: 15 February 2024

Application information

Applications, admissions and registrations process

General enquiries

If your surname starts with the letters A - H:  
Jaqueline Badenhorst +27 51 401 2823

If your surname starts with the letters I - N:   
Julia Molete | +27 51 401 2823

If your surname starts with the letters O - Z: 
Joyce Leeuw | +27 51 401 2823


T: +27 51 401 2451
F: + 27 51 401 3043


Equitas Building
UFS Bloemfontein Campus

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