LAW 2523 - Succession

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2020

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 Winter
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1506 or LAW 1511
    Incompatible LAW 2062
    Restrictions Available to LLB and B.Criminology with B.Laws and BArts Advanced with B.Laws students only
    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: Associate Professor David Brown

    Name: David Brown
    Location: Ligertwood building 2 20
    Telephone: 8313 4442
    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. Apply knowledge of 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 research on legal and policy issues in 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
    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
    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
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text Book
    Ken Mackie, Principles of Australian Succession Law, 3rd Edition, LexisNexis, Butterworths, 2017.

    Recommended Resources
    Other recommended resources include:
    Construction of Wills in Australia 2007, Hutley's Australian Wills Precedents 9ed 2016 and Powers of Attorney 2ed 2014 which are loose-leaf and online services published by LexisNexis Butterworths and available via the Law Library

    Dal Pont and Mackie, Law of Succession, 3rd edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2017.

    JK de Groot & BW Nickel, Family Provision in Australia, 5th edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2017.

    Online Learning
    This course is now fully online this year. No element of the course will be delivered face to face. 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 course.

    Please note that lectures are only online in this course. See below. Lectures are designed to be viewed outside of class time. The scheduled class time will be used for online seminars which will commence  on Zoom at 10 a.m on each of the scheduled days.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is an intensive course. It is now fully online.

    It consists of:

    7 Lectures which are online only (recorded) and available on MyUni through 360 tab. The lectures will cover the fundamental law and key issues arising for each topic.

    7  webinars to be held commencing 10 am on 6,7,8 July and 13,14,15, 16 July. Three hours per day is scheduled for class contact time, but webinars will not last three hours. Some of the three hours will be allocated to students directed readings and watching of video interviews provided.

    Webinars will focus on problem questions as well as policy discussion, readings and video interviews with lawyers are to be given to,and studied by students prior to the webinars.

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

    Lectures are online and students can listen to them in their own study time. Students are expected to attend all seminars for the two weeks of this intensive course, as these will cover and practice important skills and knowledge to prepare you for the assessment and the outcomes to be achieved in this course, as well as some insightful guest speakers who will contribute to this.

    The university's standard expectation for a 3 unit course is that students should be devoting 48 hours a week to their study for this course. This course is taught in intensive mode and while the same student learning hours are used, studens are expected to work intensively between the seminars, and be prepared for a concentrated period of reading and study. This should be factored into students' calculations when enrolling in this course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures- 7 lectures which will all be uploaded and available when the course commences.
    Seminars as follows:
    Monday 6 July Introduction to Course; General Nature of a Will
    Tuesday 7 July Making a Will-Mental Element, Formal Requirements; Statutory Wills
    Wednesday 8 July Revocation and Alteration; Republication and Revival
    Monday 13 July Construction of Wills; Gifts by Will
    Tuesday 14 July Intestacy; Family Provision
    Wednesday 15 July Personal Representatives;Grants of Representation
    Thursday 16 July Administrative Process and Personal Representatives Duties and Powers
    Please note that detailed content or ordering of topics may change, particularly to accommodate guest speakers. 
  • 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
    Assessment item % of final mark Dates Length Individual or Group Activity? Redeemable in exam? Learning Outcomes
    Online Quiz 1 15 12 July 15 questions Individual No 1,5
    Online Quiz 2 15 20 July 15 questions Individual No  1,5
    Opinion 30 25 July 2000 words Individual No 1,2,3,4,5
    Research Assignment 40 7 August 3000 words Individual No 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To gain a pass in the course a mark of at least 50% overall is required. There is no requirement that a particular piece of assessment should obtain a particular mark.
    Assessment Detail
    Online Quizzes

    There will be two quizzes. The first will cover material from the first week of classes/topics (6-8 July). The quiz will open on 8 July.

    The second will cover material from the second week of classes/topics (13-16 July). The quiz will open on 16 July.

    Each quiz will test fundamental knowledge from the  topics covered in classes that week.

    Each Quiz consists of 15 questions worth 1 point each and can only be attempted once.

    Quiz deadlines: Quiz 1- Sunday 12 July 5 pm
    Quiz 2- Monday 20th July 5 pm

    Opinion- due Saturday 25 July 5 pm

    This assignment will be a problem question and is due for submission after all classes have finished. The maximum word limit is 2000 excluding footnotes- as an opinion, foonotes should only be used for citation of sources. A penalty of 5% will be imposed for every 100 words or portion thereof over the limit .

    Research Assignment- due Friday 7 August  5 pm

    This is an individual research assignment of a maximum of 3000 words excluding footnotes (though footnotes should contain only citations and/or no more than one sentence of prose per footnote, in other words should not be used for discussion.) A penalty of 5% will be imposed for every 100 words or portion thereof over the limit.

    Students will be able to choose from a short list of titles for the research assignment, which will be issued at the start of the course.

    All assessment must be submitted through Turnitin (My Uni Course Page Assignments Tab), and must attach an assignment cover sheet which is signed and acknowledges the Academic Honesty Policy and that the assignment is your own work.

    An assignment which is late without an approved extension being notified to the student, will receive a 10% reduction for every day (or portion of a day) by which it is past the due date.

    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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    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 ( 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 feedback The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider
  • 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.

    The centre offers 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Integrity
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia 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.