LW7137 - Wills and Administration of Estates

What will I learn on this module?

The content of this module will be in line with the SRA Assessment Specification for SQE1:

1. The validity of a will and interpretation of the contents of a will. The distribution of testate, intestate and partially intestate estates.

2. The law and practice in connection with an application for a grant of representation.

3. The law and practice of Inheritance Tax in the context of lifetime gifts and transfers on death.

4. The planning, management and progression of the administration of an estate including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

5. The law and practice relating to personal representatives and trustees in the administration of estates and consequent trusts.

The rights, powers and remedies of beneficiaries of wills and consequent trusts.

On completion of this module you will be able to apply relevant core legal principles and rules appropriately and effectively to realistic client-based and ethical problems and situations in the area of wills and the administration of estates. The module takes you through how wills are created, executed and revoked. You will learn the rules of intestacy and how to distribute and administer an estate. You will learn about Inheritance Tax and the impact on lifetime gifts and on an estate on death. You will learn about valuing an estate for inheritance tax purposes, how to prepare estate accounts and about claims against the estate.

This module will support you in preparing for the SQE1 assessment in wills and the administration of estates.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is experiential in nature and will be taught through the use of case studies. The case study will follow the transaction of dealing with wills and the administration of estates.

You will be facilitated in your learning through lectures and interactive small group sessions (workshops). In addition, there will be opportunity for independent reading and research and group tasks. The module is tutor-guided and facilitated and your learning will take place through a combination of collaborative (teamwork with a small group of students), and online teaching delivery through specialist software.


There will be a series of lectures intended to introduce you to the key topics of the module.

Workshops The small group workshop exercises will develop your ability to carry out client instructions in relation to probate matters. You will be expected to engage in independent and, at times, directed learning in consolidation of work done in preparation for and during workshops. You will be required to work collaboratively, at times, by taking part in group work and to prepare individual work to be shared in the workshop group. You will also have access to podcasts, Sway packages and online learning materials through our support packages supporting your learning of the foundation legal knowledge areas such as English legal systems, trusts, land law and Solicitors accounts.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University will support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module is designed by and will be managed by the Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the Module. Material will be provided to you through workshops, webcasts, bespoke materials and lectures through the eLP, Blackboard Ultra. The Module has a dedicated eLP Blackboard Ultra site which includes workshop instruction briefs, PowerPoint slides and links to resources, such as documentaries, and newly published articles. This is in addition to the electronic reading list.

As well as contact with the lecturer you will also be taught by your Workshop Tutor. Should you have queries you may speak to the lecturer or your Workshop Tutor or e-mail your query to either member of staff. Support will include oral feedback from Tutors during small group workshops. Your Workshop Tutor will also be available to answer queries by e-mail or in person, provided an appointment has been arranged. You are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the Module.

The Academic Programme Support Teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the Module, such as recording the marks from your assessment, maintaining student records and dealing with programme-specific student enquiries.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding: At the end of the Module you will:
1. Demonstrate an in depth knowledge and critical understanding of underlying concepts, principles and context of the law relating to wills and the administration of estates and been able to initiate and undertake critical analysis and application within those areas.
2. Understand the areas covered by the Solicitors Qualifying Exam Part 1 Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities: At the end of the Module you will:
3. Understand how to apply a range of source material which may include primary, secondary, and other materials, to address how to approach wills and administration of estates.
4. Be able to apply your in depth knowledge and understanding of wills and the administration of estates in order to prepare the relevant documentation and understand the practice involved in preparing a will and the administration of an estate.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA): At the end of the Module you will have:
5. Developed intellectual independence by being able to advise clients on the procedure and practice of drafting and executing wills and administering estates with consideration to the ethical issues that may arise. You will also have identified gaps in your knowledge and acquired new knowledge.
6. Developed independent thinking and curiosity.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided by oral feedback in workshops on the formative tasks that are required for effective workshop participation. In addition, written feedback will be provided via the dedicated eLP module site. (MLO 1, 3 and 6)

Summative assessment will be through submission a piece of written coursework of 3000 words. This coursework assessment will reflect the professional practice of dealing with probate and the administration of estates. (MLO 4 and 5) Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance. (MLO 2) You will be provided with appropriate electronic written feedback through Turnitin on your final assessment in accordance with the Law School’s feedback policy.





Module abstract

Wills and the Administration of Estates examines the way that wills can be created, executed and revoked. You will learn through the use of a case study the rules of intestacy as well as how to distribute an estate where there is a will. Grants of representation, valuation of estates and distribution of estates is also covered, along with considering the position where there is a challenge to the estate. Using a blend of large group sessions to understand key themes and principles and small group sessions to contextualise and practice the procedures needed and to develop your understanding of wills and the administration of estates, you will learn the practice and procedure in this area of law. You will benefit from experiential learning principles and technology-enhanced learning as well as feedback opportunities to build your skills, knowledge and understanding of this area of law. This module aims to develop the academic and legal knowledge required for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam Part 1 and for professional practice.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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