HA6003 - Wills and Administration of Estates

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will have the opportunity to learn how wills are created, executed and revoked. You will also learn the rules of intestacy and how to distribute an estate under these rules. In addition, you will learn how to give effect to a will through obtaining a grant of probate and the role of personal representatives, valuing an estate for inheritance tax purposes and how to distribute an estate. including preparing estate accounts. Claims against the estate by others who are not beneficiaries under the will also be covered.

You will also learn the skill of legal writing on this module to assist with your written assessment. On completing the module you will be able to understand the appropriate use of media to communicate with clients and be able to tailor the written communication to suit the needs of the client.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is experiential in nature and will be taught through the use of a case study. The case study will then follow the normal transaction of dealing with probate and the administration of estates.

You will be facilitated in your learning by attendance at whole group sessions and 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 (team work with a small group of students), online teaching delivery through specialist software.

Whole group sessions
The large group lectures are intended to introduce you to the key topics of the module. They will be recorded on Panopto (available in advance).

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.

Importantly, you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge to your practice in the workplace. The seminars and lectures will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice.

You will be building a portfolio of evidence that illustrates your development as a solicitor throughout the programme. This portfolio will enable you to demonstrate how you have applied your learning from across all modules into your workplace practice.

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 by lecture and through the eLP. The Module has a dedicated eLP 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 Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks.

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:
• Demonstrated 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.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• The ability to 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.
• 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):
• 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.
• 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.

Summative Assessment will be through submission a piece of written coursework of 1,500 words. This coursework assessment will reflect the professional practice of dealing with probate and administration of estates.

Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written feedback on your final assessment in accordance with the Law School’s undergraduate feedback policy.





Module abstract

Wills and 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.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 Years Part Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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