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Session3, 3

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Introduces students to the statutory provisions and cases governing wills, including the nature, characteristics and interpretation of wills and the formal requirements for validity. Explores the legislative provisions and procedures applicable to obtaining a grant of representation (probate or letters of administration) following a person's death, and the duties of personal representatives and trustees. The law of intestate succession and testator's family maintenance are also explored.

Unit content

This unit covers wills and succession law. It also deals with probate and the administration of estates.

Topic 1: Introduction to wills
Topic 2: Making a will – the mental elements
Topic 3: Making a will – the formal requirements
Topic 4: Construction of wills – general principles of construction and gifts
Topic 5: Drafting a will
Topic 6: Changing a will – revocation, alteration, republication and revival
Topic 7: Grants of representation
Topic 8: Personal representatives
Topic 9: Family provision
Topic 10: Distribution on intestacy

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 generate creative and appropriate responses to legal problems.
2 apply knowledge of succession law in drafting a will which gives effect to the testator's instructions and which conforms to all necessary requirements for a valid will.
3 demonstrate knowledge of the principles applicable to the management of a deceased estate.
4 effectively communicate in writing to non-legal audiences the law on succession, intestacy and family provisions.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. generate creative and appropriate responses to legal problems.
    • GA4:
  2. apply knowledge of succession law in drafting a will which gives effect to the testator's instructions and which conforms to all necessary requirements for a valid will.
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the principles applicable to the management of a deceased estate.
    • GA4:
  4. effectively communicate in writing to non-legal audiences the law on succession, intestacy and family provisions.
    • GA1:
    • GA6:

Prescribed texts

  • Birtles, C & Neal, R, 2016, Hutley's Australian Wills Precedents, 9th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney. ISBN: 9780409344042.
  • Mackie, K, 2017, Principles of Australian Succession Law, 3rd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney. ISBN: 9780409345315.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.