LAW4311 - Succession law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Semester 2: Mr Richard Antill

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW3400 or LAW3401 and LAW3402


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111 and LAW3112


This unit deals with the administration and distribution of property of deceased persons. It covers rules of intestacy,testamentary capacity and intention; the formal element for making, altering and revoking a will; the professional duties of lawyers in the drafting and execution of wills and the management of deceased estates; persons eligible to be appointed executors; types of grants of representation; methods of proving a will; the vesting of assets in an executor or administrator; the classification of gifts by will and the doctrines affecting such gifts; the powers and duties of executors and administrators; and the distribution of net assets to beneficiaries or next of kin. It is designed to impart the fundamental areas of legal knowledge and principles and the contexts within which legal issues arise.


At the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. To explain how the property of a deceased person will be distributed if the person has not made a valid will disposing of all of their property.
  2. To document the requirements for a valid will, and assess a variety of circumstances to determine whether a particular will is valid.
  3. To state how wills are altered, revoked, revived and republished.
  4. To describe circumstances where formalities can be circumvented.
  5. To classify and determine the validity of various testamentary dispositions.
  6. To identify the people who are eligible to make a family provision claim and describe how the courts will deals with such a claim.
  7. To outline the various different types of grants of representation, and explain how an estate is administered.
  8. To work in a group to practice the essential duties of succession lawyers and draft an executable will and/or describe how a deceased estate should be managed.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

  1. Assignment (1,000 words) 40% AND
  2. Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time) 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information