Course Title: Wills, probate and administration

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6106 Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Title: Wills, probate and administration

Portfolio: BUS Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term2 2013,
Term1 2014,
Term1 2015,
Term2 2015,
Term1 2016

Course Contact: Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

The purpose of the module is to provide and develop specialised skills in particular areas of Wills and Deceased Estates as might be desired for a person engaged in the operation of a legal office, or associated fields in the public or corporate sectors.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

VU20116 Wills, probate and administration



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Evaluate and outline the procedure for drafting and execution of wills and identify the possible objections to the validity of wills and codicils, and apply to a relevant case study.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Analyse the law applicable to the validity of wills and identify the practical considerations arising from that law.
1.2 Determine and analyse the considerations exercised by the Registrar of Probates in relation to admitting or objecting to a form of a will.
1.3 Evaluate the functions of the following specialist areas:
      • Delegation of will making power
      • Revocation and Amendment of wills
      • Incorporation by Reference Republication and Revival
      • Purpose and operation of secret trusts
1.4 Outline and evaluate alternatives for the procedure for drafting a simple will.
       • Taking instructions
       • Ambiguous clauses
       • Proper description of real and personal property
       • Description of charities
       • Appointment of executors
       • Creation of testamentary trusts
1.5 Assess and determine a particular example or case study pertaining to the drafting of a will and the handling of objections to the validity of the will and codicil. Include the following elements:
      • Diagnose and analyse drafting errors
      • Generate ideas for correcting and removing drafting errors
      • Use conceptual drafting skills in a small group environment

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse the specialised nature, form and effect of a caveat in the Probate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and apply to a relevant case study.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Investigate, define and determine the applications of Caveats. Include the following:
       • Form of caveat
       • Meaning of caveat
       • Effect of caveat
2.2 Analyse the necessary content of a caveat and to include the basis of claim and the procedure.
2.3 Specify the procedure for the commencement of proceedings, and the appropriate forms and documents.
2.4 Examine and analyse a particular example or case study, outlining the principles of drafting a will and the handling of objections to the validity of the will and codicil.
2.5 Produce a draft of a will and codicil.

Learning Outcome 3 - Identify and analyse situations giving rise to family provision claims (formerly under the Testators family maintenance provisions) and employ the legal procedures necessary to make a claim for adequate provision by a person for whom the deceased had a responsibility to make provision.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Identify and analyse Family Provision claims.
3.2 Analyse the effect of an order on a will.
3.3 Outline the procedure to make a claim for family provision under Part IV of Administration and Probate Act, 1958.
3.4 Analyse a particular example or case study identifying Family Provision, and the legal procedure to make a claim.

Learning Outcome 4 - Demonstrate how the law relating to the distribution of intestate estates, can be applied to a relevant case study.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Demonstrate and evaluate the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act.
4.2 Define, analyse and state the clauses for effectiveness.
4.3 Define and differentiate between classes of Estates.
4.4 Examine a particular case study demonstrating the law relating to the distribution of intestate estates identified in 4.1, and between classes of Estates identified in 4.3

Learning Outcome 5 - Investigate and assess the powers, duties, and obligations of Executors and Trustees in relation to the administration of deceased estates, and demonstrate in a relevant case study.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Evaluate and identify the appropriate laws relating to executors, and trustees, and discuss with reference to a relevant example. These include:
      • Executors Powers, Duties and Obligations
      • Trustees Powers, Duties and Obligations
5.2 Outline the practical considerations in the administration of deceased estates. ’
5.3 Specify the effects of an Executor failing to perform.
5.4 Analyse and apply the laws relating to executors and trustees as specified in 5.1 to a particular case study.

Learning Outcome 6 - Produce and employ completed documentation and procedures to obtain Probate of a will or Letters of Administration, and ascertain the power that ‘Probate’ or ‘Administration’ gives an executor or Administrator.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Analyse and define ‘Probate’ or ‘Administration’, and report on general considerations and the use of power in Probate Applications and Letters of Administration.
6.2 Identify and assess the power that ‘Probate’ or ‘Administration’ gives an executor or administrator including Power from Probate and Power from Letters of Administration.
6.3 Specify how a Probate or Administration is obtained. Consider and analyse the following steps:
      • Advertising
      • Searching
      • Affidavits
      • The order
      • The probate application/order for probate
      • The application for Letters of Administration
6.4 Determine the impact and implications of the power that ‘Probate’ or ‘Administration’ gives an Executor or Administrator.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks and may include:

• case study analysis
• short answers questions
• written assignments/reports/tests
• oral presentations
• projects

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant module standards are being met.