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Law Courses Catalog

Wills & Trusts

NOTE: Wills and Trusts will be offered online in the Fall through our partnership with iLaw and will be offered in-person in Spring taught by Professor Villella. The below description applies to the Spring course, although the general content in Fall would be similar but with an exam as the method of evaluation.

Wills and Trusts - Professor Anne Villella

  • Course Number: LAW-146
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description: This course introduces the law of wills, trusts, gifts, and intestate succession. The goal is to prepare students for the practice of law in a field of great importance to lawyers. Toward this end, students will study the execution and revocation of wills, use of will substitutes, function of trusts in the transmission of wealth during life and at death, and rules governing the administration of estates and trusts. Because the law of wills and trusts is primarily statutory, we will spend time reading statutes, considering what they mean and how they work together. Students will look at contemporary families and discuss how to advise clients in different relationships and at different stages of their lives. In addition, students will look at the impact of life events—such as marriage, divorce, adoption, civil union, and incapacity—on the client’s ownership, control, and transfer of property, and on the client’s estate planning needs. Students will also look at the lawyer’s role as a representative of different types of clients—estate planning clients, trustees, personal representatives, and claimants against an estate. In addition, students will look at professionalism and ethics.
  • Prerequisite: Property
  • Evaluation Method: Assessment in the course primarily will be based on two or three short papers.
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no