LAW 2523 - Succession

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Acquaints students with the basic principles of the devolution and distribution of property upon death of the owner. Death is a major occasion for the transfer of property and the principles relating to it form an important part of any legal practice. Whilst the course concentrates upon the rules and practice relating to devolution of property on death, various aspects of social policy are considered. The following topics will be covered: wills; distribution upon intestacy; family provision; probate and administration, and the choice of law principles that govern the law applicable to succession issues which are connected to more than one jurisdiction.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2523
    Course Succession
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1506
    Incompatible LAW 2062
    Course Description Acquaints students with the basic principles of the devolution and distribution of property upon death of the owner. Death is a major occasion for the transfer of property and the principles relating to it form an important part of any legal practice. Whilst the course concentrates upon the rules and practice relating to devolution of property on death, various aspects of social policy are considered. The following topics will be covered: wills; distribution upon intestacy; family provision; probate and administration, and the choice of law principles that govern the law applicable to succession issues which are connected to more than one jurisdiction.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Sylvia Villios

    Course Coordinators: Ms Sylvia Villios & Mr Christopher Symes

    Name:                    Sylvia Villios
    Location:               Ligertwood building 4 15
    Telephone:             8313 7223
    Email:                    sylvia.villios@adelaide.edu.au

    Name:                    Christopher Symes
    Location:               Ligertwood building 2 23
    Telephone:             8313 4344
    Email:                    christopher.f.symes@adelaide.edu.au

    Course Website:     www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au


    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Apply the fundamental concepts of the law of South Australia for the administration and devolution of inheritable property of a deceased person.

    2. Identify, research, analyse and evaluate complex legal issues relating to the administration and devolution of inheritable property of a deceased person and consider how these issues may be resolved in an ethical manner.

    3. Apply knowledge of important contemporary issues in succession law including wills, distribution upon intestacy, family provision, probate and administration, special considerations for assets in foreign jurisdictions and other selected issues.

    4. Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to resolve succession law issues and communitate them effectively, both orally and in writing.

    5. Understand the relationship between succession law and other areas of law including taxation, estate and business succession planning, family law, property law, contract law, superannuation law and law of trusts.

    6. Conduct independent and group research on a legal and policy issues in succession law.

    7. Understand the social and politcal pressures that shape succession law.




    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2, 5, 6,7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2,3,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 3, 4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 7
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text Book
    Ken Mackie, Principles of Australian Succession Law, 2nd Edition, LexisNexis, Butterworths, 2013.

    Recommended Resources
    Other recommended resources include:
    Construction of Wills in Australia 2007, Hutley's Australian Wills Precedents 7ed 2009 and Powers of Attorney 2010 which are loose-leaf and online services published by LexisNexis Butterworths and available via the Law Library
    website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/about/libraries/law/

    Dal Pont and Mackie, Law of Succession, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2012.

    JK de Groot & BW Nickel, Family Provision in Australia, 4th edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2012.

    Online Learning
    The lecture recordings, PowerPoint slides used in lectures and other material for the course, such as tutorial questions, will be made available on MyUni throughout the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lectures will set out the approach to understanding Succession Law and applying the different topics of the course to problems. Although attendance at lectures is not compulsory, it is highly recommended that students attend so that students get that understanding and familiarity with that approach to the topics. Seminars are a very important component of the way the course is taught. The seminar questions will be made available throughout the semester and will be fairly simple at first, and will then progressively increase in complexity throughout the course. The seminars will usually comprise practical problem type questions in which the succession law topics from lectures is applied to arrive at a solution supported by appropriate reasoning. This process of applying the topics of succession law covered in the course to arrive at a reasoned solution is critical to doing well in the assignment, the exam and the course.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their
    studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course of private study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus the seminar each week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures will cover:
    1. Introduction
    2. The General Nature of a Will 
    3. Making a Will - the Mental Elements
    4. Statutory Wills - Wills for Persons Who Lack Testamentary Capacity
    5. Making a Will - the Formal Requirements
    6. Revocation and Alteration of Wills
    7. Republication and Revival
    8. Construction of Wills
    9. Gifts by Will
    10. Distribution on Intestacy
    11. Family Provision
    12. Personal Representatives
    13. Grants of Representation
    14. The Administrative Process - Functions, Duties, Powers, Rights and Liabilities of Personal Representatives
    15. Survivorship
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment components are:

    Assessment Item % of Final Mark Due Date
    Compulsory Research Assignment (Individual or Group and 2,000 words) 30% Friday 2nd September (Week 6)
    Final Exam (2 hours and open book plus 10 minutes of reading time) 70% Exam Period
    Assessment Related Requirements
    General
    To gain a pass in the course, a mark of at least 50% overall is required. There is no requirement that a particular part of the assessment must be passed.

    Assignment
    1. The assignment can be submitted individually or in a group of up to five (5) team members.
    2. The essay must be no more than 3,000 words in content excluding footnotes. A penalty, of a reduction in mark, may be imposed if this word limit is exceeded.
    3. Assessment marks prior to the final exam will be displayed in the Grade Centre on My Uni. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the course coordinators of any discrepancies.
    Exam
    A sample exam will be made available on MyUni.

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor hand-writing.
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment
    Each student must submit an essay assignment as part of the assessment for this course. The assignment can be submitted individually or in a group of up to five (5) team members. 

    The essay must be no more than 2,000 words in content excluding footnotes. A penalty, of a reduction in mark, may be imposed if this word limit is exceeded.

    MyUni Group Sign-Up & Assignment Submission Instructions will be made available with detailed instructions as to how to sign-up to a group and for assignment submission.

    Late submission of assignments is dealt with in the Course Profile.

    A request for a re-mark of an assignment must be made within 10 business days of assignments being made available for collection. Requests made outside this time limit will not be considered. Assignment

    Assessment criteria
    1.    The extent to which the essay identifies relevant succession law issues and sets out sound reasoning
    in support of the discussion.
    2.    The extent to which the essay demonstrates research into relevant topics of succession law.
    3.    Whether the essay is easy to read and understand. Ease of reading can be achieved by the use of headings andsub-headings.

    Exam
    The exam is “open book” but you must not bring into the exam room any book belonging to the University of Adelaide Libraries. “Permitted Materials” in the exam room are the prescribed textbook or any other succession law textbook, the legislation, course materials and handouts, your own lecture and other notes written and prepared by you, and not prepared by or taken from someone else. You may also bring into the exam room an English or English/foreign language dictionary (paper only), and
    calculator incapable of sending text.

    It is each student's responsibility to read the examination timetable. Misreading the timetable is not accepted as grounds for granting a replacement/supplementary exam. University staff are not permitted to provide examination times to students over the telephone or in response to personal enquiries. Examinations will be held only at the time and locations stated in the University’s Examination Timetable, so they may not be taken in another country. Students should not make any arrangements to be absent until after the replacement/supplementary exam period.
    Submission
    Assignment Submission
    1. MyUni Group Sign-Up & Assignment Submission Instructions will be made available with detailed instructions as to how to sign-up to a group and for assignment submission.
    2. Students must retain a copy of the assignment submitted.
    3. Students must attach an ‘Assignment Cover Sheet’, which is signed and dated before submission.
    4. The course coordinator may withhold students’ results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    5. Course coordinators can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism. For this course, students are required to hand in assignments via ‘Turn it in’ which is a computer programme that detects plagiarised work. Further information can be found at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/content/Turnitin_submitting_as_a_Student.html

    Late Assignment Submission
    1. Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. Students must apply for an extension by completing the online Application for Extension form before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits.
    2. Extensions are granted at the discretion of the course coordinators or Assessment Officer in compliance with the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy.
    3. Extensions beyond the due date are usually only granted in the case of significant medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances which affect a student’s capacity to demonstrate their demonstrate their true level of competence in an assessment task.
    4. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised by a 10% mark reduction for each day that it is late.
    Return of Assignments
    Lecturers aim to mark and return assignments to students within two (2) weeks of the due date with written feedback.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.