Course Title: Explore and apply wills, probates and administration procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: LAW5720

Course Title: Explore and apply wills, probates and administration procedures

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6141 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact: Robert Sheen

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5759

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Ryan


Nominal Hours: 50

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.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to apply the rules and provisions for areas of wills and deceased estates in order to provide specialised support of the work of a legal office, practice or associated context.

This unit supports the work of personnel engaged in the operation of a legal office or associated fields within public and/or corporate sectors.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21639 Explore and apply wills, probates and administration procedures


1. Explore and apply the procedure for drafting and execution of wills

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify and describe the law applicable to the validity of wills and practical considerations arising from that law 1.2 Research and describe 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 the alternative procedures for drafting a simple will, including: • taking instructions • ambiguous clauses • proper description of real and personal property • description of charities • appointment of executors • creation of testamentary trusts 1.5 Evaluate and practice the procedures for assessing a will and for handling objections to the validity of the will and codicil, including diagnosis, correction and removal of errors


2. Analyse and apply provisions relating to caveats

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Investigate the meaning, forms and effects of caveats and analyse for application to practice 2.2 Identify the necessary content of a caveat, including the basis of claim, and apply the procedure 2.3 Examine the probate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court 2.4 Specify and apply the procedure for the commencement of proceedings, including the appropriate forms and documents 2.5 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. 2.6 Produce a draft of a will and codicil


3. Identify and apply procedures for family provision claims

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Research, describe and discuss the Family Provision claims, including situations that give rise to claims 3.2 Research and debate the effect of an order on a will 3.3 Outline and apply the procedure to make a claim for family provision under Part IV of Administration and Probate Act, 1958


4. Evaluate and apply the law relating to the distribution of intestate estates

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Examine and apply the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act relating to distribution of intestate estates 4.2 Define and apply the clauses for effectiveness 4.3 Compare and contrast the differences between classes of estates and analyse their application to the distribution of intestate estates


5. Investigate and assess the powers, duties, and obligations of executors and trustees in relation to the administration of deceased estates

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Evaluate and identify the law relating to powers, duties and obligations of both executors and trustees in relation to the administration of deceased estates 5.2 Outline the practical considerations in the administration of deceased estates 5.3 Research and discuss the effects of an executor failing to perform


6. Follow procedures to obtain probate of a will or letters of administration

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Identify and describe the terms Probate and Administration are defined and the general considerations and use of power in Probate Applications and Letters of Administration 6.2 Research and discuss the impact and implications of the power that Probate or Administration gives an executor or administrator, including the application Power from Probate and Power from Letters of Administration 6.3 Outline the procedure for obtaining a grant of probate or administration, with consideration of: advertising; searching; affidavits; the order, and the probate application/order for probate 6.4 Determine the impact and implications of the power that 'Probate' or 'Administration' give an Executor or Administrator

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom-based activities.

The self-paced activities will be delivered through various technology platforms and may include your contribution to wikis and discussion threads, reflective journals, quizzes and interactive sessions.

The collaborative classroom-based activities will include group discussions, group problem-solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment. We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.

Teaching Schedule

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities 

 The Teaching Schedule for this course is as follows. (Please note that this schedule is subject to change)

Week No.

Week beginning


Assessment tasks


3 July

Introduction to the law of succession

Introduction to client files


10 July

General nature of Wills

Client file 1 part 1 instructions for letter to client and will 1


17 July

Will-making capacity



24 July

Formal requirements of Will making, revocation and alteration of Wills 



31 July

Rectification of Wills and Statutory Wills

Letter + first Will due (12%)


7 August

Construction of Wills



14 August

Gifts by Will

Instructions for second Will re file 1


21 August

Family Provision part 1







4 September

Family Provision part 2



11 September

Intestacy and distribution on intestacy

Letter + 2nd Will due (18%)


18 September

Appointment of Personal Representatives and Grants of Representation

Instructions final probate documents deceased Estate (client file 2)


25 September

Duties of Personal Representatives  Assistance with probate documents 

Probate notice due (5%)

Course Experience Survey to be completed.


2 October


Originating Motion, Affidavit, Inventory + Parchment deceased estate due (20%)


9 October

Revision or possibly final test

Possible date for final test


16 October

Final test either this week or previous week

Final test 3 case study problems - 2 hours plus reading time – open book 45%)


23 October

Resubmits etc


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

 Principles of Australian Succession Law by Ken Mackie 3rd edition LexisNexis - Butterworths


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

In order to demonstrate competency in this unit, you must provide evidence of:

• knowledge of wills and probate relating to validity of wills, drafting procedures and execution of wills
• interpreting the key principles of wills and probate law
• examining legal procedures to make a claim for family provisions
• researching and analysing law relating to the distribution of intestate estates
• investigating the administration of deceased estates
• obtaining a grant of probate and letters of administration

Context for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

• activities are related to a legal practice context
• activities are related to laws, regulations and procedures currently operating across the jurisdictions relevant to this qualification

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning effectiveness and final performance in the course.

Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1 Client file 1 drafting and submitting letter to client enclosing relatively simple Will for signing (due week 5) and, subsequently, drafting letter to client enclosing a more complicated Will for signing (due week 10).


Assessment 2 Client file 2 drafting and submitting Probate documents in respect of a deceased estate with the Probate Notice (due week 12) and final probate documents (due week 13).


Assessment tasks 1 & 2 should be submitted via turnitin and handed to your teacher.


Assessment 3 Case study problems under test conditions (open book) scheduled for week 14. You will probably have to answer 3 major questions in 2 hours plus reading time.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Submission Requirements

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date.
  • Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (both hard copy and soft copy).
  • Use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship when you submit work for assessment at RMIT University. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you must declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of each assessment task is available on Blackboard.
  • Include a footer (appearing on each page of your assessment) with your name, student number, assessment title, course code, course title and page numbers. For example, Kelly Hervey, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days. For more Information go to:

The application form may be obtained from:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for Special Consideration. Applications for Special Consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination. For more Information go to:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

The application form may be obtained from:

Resubmissions (VE Programs):

You must satisfactorily complete all assessment tasks in order to achieve competency.

If an assessment task is assessed as not yet satisfactory, you will be allowed one resubmission opportunity only. Your teacher will provide feedback detailing what you need to do in order to satisfactorily complete that task, and will set a new deadline for the resubmission within the current semester.

If your resubmission is deemed to be not yet satisfactory then you must apply in writing to your Program Manager outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in that course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as practical.

If your resubmission is deemed satisfactory then you may still achieve competency for the course, provided that all other assessment tasks are satisfactorily completed. Further, if this satisfactory resubmission is of a task that contributes to the overall grading of this course, then it shall only be entitled to receive a score that equates to 50% of the total marks allocated for that task.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which an adjustment to the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Marking Guide (Competency)

You must demonstrate through your performance in the Course Assessment Tasks that you have all the required skills and knowledge as specified in the unit of competency (course) you are studying.

Your submitted assessments are the evidence used to determine if you have met all critical aspects of the assessments, and if any critical aspects have not been met, then you cannot be deemed competent in this course.

On each assessment task you will receive feedback against the competency requirements for that task, and the outcome of the task will be recorded as either satisfactory (all requirements have been met) or not yet satisfactory (one or more requirements has not yet been met).

Only when all assessment tasks have been assessed as satisfactory will you be deemed competent in this course.

Marking Guide (Grading)

This course is graded. However, only after achieving competency in this course will you receive a grade corresponding to your level of performance in the course. 

The reported Final Grade will be one of the following:


 Competent with High Distinction


 Competent with Distinction


 Competent with Credit


 Competency Achieved – Graded


 Not Yet Competent (all assessment tasks submitted)


 Did Not Submit (one or more assessment tasks not submitted)

Further details regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview