Catalogue 2019 - 2020

LMSE 701 The Law of Trusts & Estates



Course Description

This course is an introduction to the law of trusts and estates for non-lawyers beginning to earn their degree of Master of Science in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Successful completion is required prior to students registering for LLM classes in elder law and estate planning. Trusts are pervasive in elder law and estate planning, and so a solid understanding is critical to success in the field. The course begins with estates, covering intestacy and the requirements for a valid will such as execution formalities, competence, and lack of duress. The course then discusses will and trust construction issues, such as when a will or trust is ambiguous, and when there are changes in people or property not anticipated by the drafter. We then move into requirements for a valid trust, and the all important uses, properties, and administration of trusts, including such topics as asset protection and powers of appointment. Also covered are non-probate non-trust means of disposing of property at death, including joint tenancy and death beneficiary designations. The text is technical, but nonetheless suited as an introduction to non-lawyers. 2 credits. Prerequisite: LMSE 800 Introduction to Law.