Wills and Administration of Estates offers students a comprehensive exploration of the legal principles surrounding succession, wills, and the administration of estates. In a society where the transfer of assets and wealth is a critical aspect of legal practice, this course delves into the intricacies of creating a valid will, the consequences of intestacy, and the tax considerations associated with inheritance.
The introductory module sets the stage for the course, highlighting the importance of wills and the administration of estates in the broader context of succession law. Students gain insights into the legal and practical implications of managing assets and providing for the orderly transfer of wealth.
The consequences of dying without a valid will, known as intestacy, are explored in this module. Students examine the legal rules governing the distribution of assets when there is no will, considering the statutory provisions that determine how an estate is divided among heirs.
3. Will and Testament
This module delves into the fundamental concept of a will and testament. Students explore the key components of a valid will, including the capacity of the testator, the formalities required for execution, and the essential elements that ensure the document's legal validity.
4. Formalities of Will
The formalities surrounding the creation of a will are crucial to its validity. Students investigate the legal requirements for executing a will, including the necessity for witnesses, the testator's mental capacity, and the role of legal professionals in ensuring compliance with formalities.
This module explores the circumstances under which a will may be revoked. Students examine the legal mechanisms through which a testator can alter or cancel their will, ensuring that the document accurately reflects their testamentary intentions at any given time.
The construction of a will involves the interpretation of its terms and clauses. Students explore the principles and rules that guide the court in deciphering the testator's intentions, addressing ambiguities and ensuring a fair distribution of assets.
7. Family Provision
Family provision laws aim to ensure that dependents and family members are adequately provided for in a deceased person's estate. This module examines the legal framework governing family provision claims, allowing students to understand the rights and entitlements of potential claimants.
This module focuses on the entitlement of beneficiaries under a will. Students explore the legal rights and interests of individuals named in a will, addressing issues related to the distribution of specific assets, legacies, and the satisfaction of debts.
9. Alternative Succession
The course considers alternative methods of succession planning beyond traditional wills. Students explore legal mechanisms such as trusts and lifetime gifts, evaluating their effectiveness in achieving specific testamentary objectives.
10. Inheritance Tax
Inheritance tax is a significant consideration in estate planning. This module delves into the legal principles governing inheritance tax, exploring the exemptions, reliefs, and planning strategies that can mitigate the tax impact on an estate.
11. Income Tax
The course extends its focus to the implications of income tax on an estate. Students examine the tax considerations related to income generated by the estate's assets, understanding the legal obligations and planning opportunities for minimising tax liability.
12. Capital Gains Tax
The final module explores the complexities of capital gains tax in the context of estates. Students investigate the legal principles that govern the calculation and payment of capital gains tax on the disposal of assets within an estate.
By examining topics such as the formalities of wills, family provision, and the various taxes affecting estates, students gain a profound understanding of the legal mechanisms that govern the transmission of wealth and assets upon death.
Check out our exam-focused Wills and Administration of Estates notes now.