• Class Number 5601
  • Term Code 2940
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Glenda Bloomfield
    • Glenda Bloomfield
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/04/2019
  • Class End Date 28/06/2019
  • Census Date 10/05/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/05/2019
SELT Survey Results

Estate Planning entails the preparation of legal and financial arrangements for clients to provide effectively for the event of incapacity or death. Although Wills (usually those including discretionary testamentary trusts) form a core part of this practice area, other documents such as Enduring Powers of Attorney, Binding Death Benefit Nominations for superannuation and other important documentation also play a crucial role. 
The intersection of legal and financial advice in the area of Estate Planning (where lawyers can’t give financial advice and financial advisers can’t draft legal documents) has often lead to a lack of consistent practice in the area. 
This course begins with an overview of how Estate Planning law operates in practice and students will be taught how to prepare an effective Estate Plan for a client. Topics to be examined include: 
- Testamentary Trusts
- Superannuation and Estate Planning
- Social Security and Estate Planning
- Vulnerable Beneficiaries and Estate Planning
- Family Provision and Estate Planning
- Blended Families and Estate Planning
- Loss of Capacity: Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship, and Advanced Medical Directives

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain, distinguish and apply advanced concepts and terminology in Wills and Estate Planning practice.
  2. Demonstrate specialised knowledge of recent developments in legal practice in the area of Estate Planning.
  3. Apply professional knowledge, skills and ethical responsibilities to analyse, synthesise and communicate knowledge and information to advise and represent clients in a practical legal context.
  4. Demonstrate specialised technical skills to generate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level and apply critical thinking, creativity and initiative to justify conclusions and solutions.
  5. Demonstrate high level personal autonomy and accountability in legal practice through professional and ethical behavior.
  6. Design, plan and execute a substantial capstone experience relating to Estate Planning practice.

Research-Led Teaching

Throughout the course, the statement of the law is illuminated and set in community context by illustrations and examples. The political pressures, policy imperatives and legal reform considerations are integral to current research in this area and are a key feature in the delivery of this course.

Required Resources

The prescribed text for this course is:

  • Brett B Davies and Natalie G Connor, Australian Estate Planning (CCH Intelliconnect).

This text is available online via the ANU Law Library.

It is highly desirable for you to do some preliminary reading, preferably before the course begins. To assist you we have provided the ANU School of Legal Practice GDLP materials on Wills and Estates Practice (WEP materials) on the course Wattle site. These materials provide a foundation level of succession practice if you have not previously studied or practiced in this area. The materials also provide a good refresher for those with experience in this area of law.

Other Useful Books

  • Craig Birtles and Richard Neal, Hutley’s Australian Wills Precedents (LexisNexis,9th ed, 2016)
  • Michael Perkins and Robert Monahan, Estate Planning: A Practical Guide for Estate and Financial Services Professionals (LexisNexis 4th edition, 2016).
  • Vik Sundar, Charles Rowland and Phillip Bailey, Discretionary Testamentary Trusts – Precedents and Commentary (LexisNexis, 2nd edition 2016).
  • GE Dal Pont and KF Mackie, Law of Succession (LexisNexis, 2nd edition 2017).
  • Julie Cassidy, Mutual Wills (Federation Press 2000).
  • John K de Groot and Bruce W Nickel, Family Provision in Australia (LexisNexis Butterworths, 5th ed, 2017).
  • Ken Mackie, Principles of Australian Succession Law (LexisNexis, 3rd ed, 2017).
  • Thomson Reuters, Australian Succession Law, David Haines, Leonie Englefield and Madeleine Harland, (available online via ANU Law Library).
  • Thomson Reuters, The Law of Trusts, Ford & Lee, (available online via ANU Law Library).
  • LexisNexis, Halsbury’s Laws of Australia (available online via ANU Law Library).
  • LexisNexis, Succession Law and Practice New South Wales, K Mason and LG Handler, (available online via ANU Law Library).
  • National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws Discussion Papers and Reports:
  • Queensland Law Reform Commission, Administration of Estates of Deceased Persons: Report of the National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws to the Standing Committee of Attorneys General, Report No 65, April 2009.
  • Queensland Law Reform Commission, Report to the Standing Committee of Attorneys General on Family Provision, Miscellaneous Paper 28, 1997.
  • Queensland Law Reform Commission, Consolidated Report to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General on The Law of Wills, Miscellaneous Paper No 29, December 1997).
  • NSW Law Reform Commission, Uniform Succession Laws: Intestacy, Report No 116, 2007.

Several of the state law reform Commissions have their own reports on succession law.

Staff Feedback

You will be given written and/or oral feedback pointing out things that have been done well and those that could be done better or differently. You will be given written or oral feedback following any submission of an assessment. This is typically available 1-4 weeks after submission of the assessment. You may seek further elaboration on any feedback - either from your marker or by the Convenor. If you feel that your feedback and grade does not reflect your performance, please contact the Convenor in writing and outline your concerns. Your submission will be re-marked by a new examiner.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

External Resources

Information about the ANU Law Library, including details of E-Legal research online resources (for example, CCH Intelliconnect, Legal Online, LexisNexisAU, etc) is available to ANU students and can be found at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/subjects/law. For access to the online resources please go to: http://virtual.anu.edu.au then type in your student number and password. At various points throughout the course you will be directed to other useful external resources.


Referencing Requirements

Where required, students must use footnotes for referencing and the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc) for the citation style. 


Word Limits

The method of calculation of word length for assessment pieces in this course is a global word count. This means that when calculating the number of words of a piece of assessment students must include all headings, text, and footnotes (excluding bibliography). Students should calculate this using Microsoft Word’s word count function or equivalent. The default penalty is as follows: the mark which is awarded initially will be reduced by half the proportion by which the word limit has been exceeded. As an example, if the word limit is 2,000 words, and the essay submitted is 3,000 words long, then the initial mark for the essay would be reduced by 25% of that mark.

Papers which fall short of words will not be penalised on that basis alone. However, short papers risk failing to address the question adequately.


ANU Library

All enrolled ANU students can access the ANU databases (including the full-text databases such as Westlaw) through the ANU Library webpage http://anulib.anu.edu.au/lib_home.html

Opening hours for the Law Library can be accessed at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/opening-hours/.

To access restricted ANU web pages from home as though coming from a computer on campus you need the Reverse Proxy Server known as ‘Virtual’. You can access virtual through http://virtual.anu.edu.au/login.

Students living near another law school may need to access print resources from their local school. ANU students can use these collections through the University Library Australia national borrowing scheme. The scheme allows people who are enrolled at a university in one city to access university libraries in another city at a reduced rate. For further information see http://www.caul.edu.au/caul-programs/university-library-australia. Students who wish to participate in this scheme need to join at the library they wish to access material from. The cost of the scheme is $50 per academic year.

The ANU document delivery service is available for remotely located students in non-capital cities. For further information see https://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/document-supply-services/ .

The ANU Library Off-Campus Service is available to students who live more than 60 kilometres from the ANU campus at Acton, ACT. Before using the service for the first time, you will need to complete the online User Agreement Form. You will then be able to request a book, table of contents, chapter or article using the request forms on the Off-Campus Service web pages. For further information see http://anulib.anu.edu.au/offcampus/.


Sub-Dean, GDLP/MLP

The GDLP/MLP Sub-Dean can be contacted via email on subdean.slp@anu.edu.au

Wellbeing Support Services for Lawyers

You will find wellbeing support information for lawyers on the ANU School of Legal Practice website. We also encourage you to read Being Well in the Law – a guide for lawyers which is a toolkit is provided by the NSW Law Society, written by our ANU Academics.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 How Estate Planning law operates in practice
2 Wills and Testamentary Trusts
3 Family Provision and Estate Planning
4 Blended Families and Estate Planning
5 Superannuation, Insurance and Estate Planning
6 Social Security and Estate Planning
7 Vulnerable Beneficiaries and Estate Planning
8 Loss of Capacity: Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship, and Advanced Medical Directives.
9 Mentored assessment
10 Mentored assessment

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Answer Questions (30% ) 30 % 20/05/2019 26/05/2019 1,2,3
Forum Discussion Exercises (30%) 30 % 17/06/2019 30/06/2019 1,2
Preparation of Advice and Estate Plan (40%) 40 % 28/06/2019 26/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


You must check Wattle course announcements and forum discussions as well as your ANU email at least every 24-48 hours.

All email correspondence from the ANU will be sent to your ANU email address. You may arrange for your ANU Email to be forwarded to an email address you check daily.

Alternatively, set your personal setting to provide you with all the reminders you need to achieve this. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to ensure you are actively committed and involved in this course.

The course will be conducted in the following time zones (Canberra time). 

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): from 7 April 2019 to 6 October 2019. 

Please make appropriate adjustments if you are located in a different time zone.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 20/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Short Answer Questions (30% )

Format: On two occasions during the course 1 question will be provided and students are required to provide a written short answer.

  • Part A : The question will be released on Friday, 10 May 2019
  • Part B : The question will be released on Friday, 31 May 2019
  • Marks: Each question is worth 15% of the total marks for this course (30% in total). 

Submission Date: Answers to Short answer questions must be submitted by:

  • Part A: Monday, 20 May 2019 by 5.00pm (AEST)
  • Part B: Tuesday, 11 June 2019 by 5.00pm (AEST)

Please note: The due date listed in the Assessment Summary refers to Part A of this assessment. Please refer to the information above regarding the submission date for Part B.

Length: Each answer should not exceed 1,200 words.

Estimated Date of Results: The marked Short answer questions will be returned to you:

  • Part A: Sunday, 26 May 2019
  • Part B: Sunday, 30 June 2019

Please note: The return of assessment date listed in the Assessment Summary refers to Part A . Please refer to the information above regarding the return date for Part B.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  •  evidence of consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
  • Issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b) Communication & Development of Argument

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and analysis of the material
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • consideration of opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research

  • research covering core primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate

e) Presentation, style and referencing

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 17/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Forum Discussion Exercises (30%)

Format: Commencing in Week 1, we will begin considering Estate Planning issues.

You must contribute at least four discussion postings addressing issues arising in four different topics chosen from the topics listed below.

Postings need not be limited to ‘text’ or written responses – you are encouraged to include links, videos, illustrations, graphs and so on. These will all create further interest for other participants as well as providing some useful resources.

Apart from a critique that identifies, analyses and evaluates issues arising, matters that you might include in your discussion postings are:

  • problems in practice – please be careful of confidentiality issues
  • discussion of recent decisions, perhaps even an older case that interests you 
  • because participants in this course are from various jurisdictions, comparative law discussions are relevant
  • ideas for law reform
  • anything that you think will add to and be of interest to the course

You are of course invited and welcome to contribute more than the four required postings.

You will choose the postings that you wish to submit for assessment. This way you can fully engage in the discussions without being concerned that every contribution will be assessed.

When making your choice as to which postings to submit for assessment, you must also submit an accompanying short commentary explaining why you think those postings were interesting or useful and how they added to the discussion in the course.

Marks: Each posting is worth 6% and the commentary is worth 6% - total 30%.

Relevant in awarding marks will be the ‘timeliness’ of the posting. For example, making postings in week 8 of the course on Topics that were discussed in week 1 usually adds little to the overall development of the discussion in particular and the course in general and will be reflected in the marks awarded. There are exceptions to this of course e.g. if a new decision is handed down which impacts on previous discussions.

In choosing which postings to present for assessment the following course requirements must be met:

  • A total of four postings must be nominated.
  • In selecting your postings you may choose from the following topics:
  • How Estate Planning law operates in practice
  • Wills and Testamentary Trusts
  • Family Provision and Estate Planning
  • Blended Families and Estate Planning
  • Superannuation Insurance and Estate Planning
  • Social Security and Estate Planning
  • Vulnerable Beneficiaries and Estate Planning
  • Loss of Capacity: Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship, and Advanced Medical Directives.

Each of the four postings must be on a different Topic. 

Submission Date: Discussion Board Posting Nominations are due on Monday, 17 June 2019 by 5.00pm (AEST).

Length: Each Posting should be 300-500 words. The commentary should also be 300-500 words in total (not per posting). The format for presenting these collected postings and commentary will be provided closer to the submission date.

Estimated Date of Results: Sunday, 30 June 2019

Assessment Criteria:

a) Preparation and understanding of the material

  • consulting and reading materials relevant to the topic under discussion
  • linking material between various aspects of the course
  • consulting literature identified in the reading and course guide
  • where necessary undertaking original research

b) Thinking critically about the material

  •  looking at questions from different angles
  • questioning assumptions
  • use of language

c) Presentation of material to class

  • expressing ideas clearly
  • use of appropriate language
  • use of relevant and interesting illustrations and resources, i.e. graphs, recordings, links
  • timely postings

d) Engagement with the class

  • responding to questions from fellow students and instructor
  • treating all members of the class respectfully
  • maintaining class interest

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 28/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Preparation of Advice and Estate Plan (40%)

Format: You are required to prepare an Advice and Estate Plan meeting the client’s requirements.

Release Date: Full client instructions for preparation of Advice and Estate Plan will be released on Friday, 14 June 2019

Submission Date: Friday, 28 June 2019 by 5.00pm (AEST)

Length: 3,000 words in total.

Estimated Date of Results: The marked Advice and Estate Plan will be returned to you when final marks for the course are released, no later than Friday, 26 July 2019.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • answering the question asked
  • identification of the legal issues raised from the questions
  • legal principles stated/explained with accuracy
  • legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail
  • relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles
  • recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’
  • originality/innovation in approach to issues
  • clear conclusion

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography where appropriate
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation where appropriate
  • adherence to word limit

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You may be required to submit an assessment either through:

  1. Wattle dropbox and Turnitin, or
  2. Wattle dropbox only, or
  3. Turnitin only.

Please read the instruction for each assessment carefully.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assessment.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Wattle dropbox in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration, by tick boxes, as part of the submission of your assessment. If you fail to do this, you assessment will be recorded as a draft only. This may affect its acceptance as a submitted assessment.

Please keep a copy of all your assessments for your records.

Assessments must be submitted in the format identified in the assessment instructions, for example, in accordance with relevant court or tribunal requirements; usual contract or will formats or advice format.

Research essays, reflective comments or similar documents must be submitted in 12-point font, double-spaced, formatted for A4-size paper, and with pages numbered. 

Hardcopy Submission

No hard copy submission will be accepted in this class.

Late Submission

Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Your written work will receive feedback and grading via the course Wattle site under the corresponding assessment drop box. Assessment results are typically available between 1-4 weeks after the due date via the same dropbox your assessments were submitted to. The Convenor will post announcements about when you can expect your assessment results.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Glenda Bloomfield
02 61251647

Research Interests

Glenda Bloomfield is an experienced practitioner in both New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory jurisdictions. She has worked in both the government and the private sector for many years. Glenda has taught at the University of Canberra; and has been teaching in the ANU School of Legal Practice and Law School since 1987.

Glenda Bloomfield

Glenda Bloomfield
02 61251647

Research Interests

Glenda Bloomfield


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