• Offered by ANU Legal Workshop
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Legal Practice
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Summer Session 2017
    Winter Session 2017
    See Future Offerings

The inheritance of property and wealth is a growing and specialised area of legal practice incorporating estate planning, will drafting, deceased estate administration and litigation. 

Wills and estates lawyers assist clients to arrange the orderly transfer of their assets upon death by drafting valid and effective wills that take into account the client’s wishes, and consistent with those wishes, are tax effective and preserve assets for the beneficiaries. They also administer estates to ensure assets are appropriately distributed and engage in litigation around the validity of wills and family provision claims. 

Taught by experienced practitioners and academics, this course exposes students to real-life scenarios where issues of capacity, superannuation, taxation and family provision arise in the context of will drafting, estate administration and dealing with potential problems in estates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By participating in the course and undertaking structured and self-regulated learning activities, a student will develop and apply knowledge and skills to be able to:

1. Analyse and evaluate the client’s capacity to provide informed and independent instructions for preparation of the client’s will.

2. Interpret the client’s instructions, identify and synthesise the relevant law and explain, advise and resolve with the client, potential problems and options in relation to the client’s testamentary intentions, prior to drafting a will.

3. Draft a Will to reflect the client’s final instructions in accordance with law and good practice.

4. Identify and draft any follow-up advice and ensure the Will and any other document(s) are executed in accordance with law.

5. Analyse and evaluate the documents provided by the client to obtain probate or letters of administration of an estate, in accordance with the required forms and procedures.

6. Investigate and identify debts and assets of an estate and implement all necessary processes and procedures to administer an estate, including action to assist with, and ensure release of, executor obligations.

7. Identify, research and analyse the client’s issues regarding wills and estates problems, critically reflect on the breadth and scope of legal issues and applicable law to be able to interpret and communicate to the client, options for resolution of the problem(s).

8. Demonstrate and apply the knowledge, skills and values required to achieve the ‘Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers’ as determined by the Law Admissions Consultative Council.

Indicative Assessment

Students are required to conduct a client interview to obtain instructions for a will, draft a will, advise the client both orally and in writing about the will and answer questions regarding the administration of estates.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


There are no set contact hours. Students should expect to spend about 10 - 15 hours per week in reading and course related tasks to complete the course. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (6303XGDLP or 6312XGDLP) and completed or be completing LEGW8141. OR Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP) and completed or be completing LEGW8141.

Prescribed Texts

You are required to read all the materials that are made available via the Wills and Estates Practice course Wattle site and view/listen to all audio/webcasts or that may be offered as part of the course.

You are expected to carry out independent research during the course to complete some of the assessments (as you will do in practice). You can pursue much of the independent research online. You must thoroughly study your jurisdictions legislation relevant to Wills and Estates.

Assumed Knowledge

The course is designed for law graduates intending to proceed into legal practice.

It is not assumed that students have knowledge of law in any substantive areas. Many areas of law touch upon this subject, Property Law, Family Law, Trusts and of course Succession Law to name but a few. While knowledge in these areas is an advantage it is NOT a requirement. Every attempt is made to explain concepts from substantive areas of Law.

It is assumed that students will have a knowledge of interview and drafting techniques from undertaking the Becoming a Practitioner intensive. These skills will be exercised and developed in this course.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $1147
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $1503
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1282 09 Jan 2017 13 Jan 2017 20 Jan 2017 17 Feb 2017 Online N/A

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6485 21 Aug 2017 25 Aug 2017 01 Sep 2017 29 Sep 2017 Online N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions