Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Wills and Administration of Estates
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 Hours   Written Assessment  100%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Written Assessment  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Understand the importance of making a valid Will and, in the absence of this, the working of the intestacy provisions and be competent to explain and discuss these matters with a client.

2. Understand the function and scope of a Will and discuss with the client what property passes under Will/intestacy rules or is outside the estate.

3. Assess the assets and liabilities of an estate and advise client on potential taxation position regarding the estate.

4. Explain the need for a Grant of Representation, its effect and the different types of grant with a client.

5. Explain to a client the taxation and succession effects of client'r proposed dispositions and where appropriate suggest alternatives.

6. Deal with calculation and payment of IHT and ascertain if an IHT account is necessary.

7. Explain rules regarding administration of an estate, complete an Oath and lodge necessary papers at Probate Registry.

8. Deal with post-grant matters, realise and collect assets, pay debts and distribute residuary estate.


The module of Probate trains students for the professional practice of Wills and the Administration of Estates and by means of underpinning the academic interpretation of case law and legislation with the practical element of its application. It is an area that under legislation is reserved for solicitors only.

Brief description

The module ensures that students understand and can advise on the practice and procedure of obtaining grants of representation and the administration of an estate, the legal and taxation implications of and procedures required in succession.


1. The position with no will :Intestacy rules; Alteration of a Will; Revocation of a Will
2. The Application for a Grant of Representation including necessity for a grant and its effect;
3. Main types of Grant.
4. The Oath. Drafting different types of Oath.
5. IHT implications.
6. Post-grant practice
a) Collection of assets
b) Payment of debts
c) Payment of Legacies
d) Preparation of estate accounts
e) Distribution of residuary estate.
7. Preparation of estate accounts.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students are expected to be numerate and will have to understand and explain Estate Accounts.
Communication Students will act in groups and be expected to communicate to the session as a whole. Oral communication skills will be mainly developed in the SGS and in Lectures (LGS) questions and answers will be encouraged as the sessions will be interactive. An interviewing assessment must be completed and videoed. Written communication skills are developed in drafting exercises.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will learn in an interactive environment and be expected to develop their understanding and skills in independent learning. The module demands reading, preparation for LGS and SGS, relevant research and reflection on the problems and case studies.
Information Technology Students will be expected to draft Oaths and Tax Forms using electronic precedents. All materials will be placed on the Blackboard site Most of the legal research will require use of the electronic or online legal documents and cases
Personal Development and Career planning The subject area of Probate is required for their future career as are the practice of the pervasive subject skills below which are embedded in the teaching. It is a reserved area of practice.
Problem solving The subject is predicated on solving client problems and identifying the correct practical and legal steps. Students will be expected to choose between different approaches, different forms of oath and arrangements and be faced with having to choose between alternative solutions.
Research skills All sessions require independent legal research; the ability to use Library resources, electronic precedents and locate and act on the correct material will be developed in SGS
Subject Specific Skills Interviewing /Writing/drafting/ Practical legal research.
Team work All SGS are tutor facilitated with students working in groups of two, three or four. Future solicitors are required to demonstrate team work and this skill is developed by the format of the seminars (SGS).


This module is at CQFW Level 7