LAWS5187 Succession Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines the law relating to wills, estates, intestacy and family provision. The unit includes analysis of the definition and nature of a will, formal requirements of a will, construction of wills, vitiating factors affecting testators and beneficiaries, revocation, republication and revival of wills, legacies and devises, intestate succession, administration of estates of deceased persons and family provision after death.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate at an advanced level knowledge of (a) the law of succession; (b) the Wills Act 1970 (WA) as amended; (c) testate and intestate succession; (d) the elements of a claim against an estate for further provision by an eligible person for some or further provision from an estate; (e) the Family Provision Act 1972 (formerly the Inheritance (Family and Dependants Provision) Act 1972) and the recent changes to the Act; (f) the policy and reform issues that are relevant to succession law; and (g) international, national and comparative perspectives on Western Australian Succession Law; (2) demonstrate (a) the ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical issues arising in succession law particularly in the area of Moral Duty and its application in the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA); and (b) a developing ability to exercise professional judgement with regards succession issues; (3) demonstrate the ability to (a) identify and articulate complex issues that arise in succession law; (b) apply legal reasoning to solve hypothetical succession problems, in particular developing and explaining arguments in resolving issues; and (c) engage in critical analysis of succession law legislation and scholarship, including the changes and reasons for change made by the Wills Amendment Act 2008; (4) identify, research, evaluate and synthesise the factual, legal and policy issues arising in succession law and demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in generating appropriate responses to justify conclusions and professional decisions; and (5) demonstrate an ability and willingness to (a) participate and contribute to seminar discussion; and (b) present arguments in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive to legal and non-legal audiences.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) class participation; (2) written assignment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr John Hockley
Unit rules
Juris Doctor (JD) students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from: LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics
LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Reference texts

Dal Pont, G. E. and Mackir, K. F. Law of Succession: LexisNexis Butterworths 2013

Atherton, R. F. and Vines, P. Succession, Families, Property and Death: Text and Cases, 2nd edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2003

Hockley, J. J. et al. Wills Probate and Administration Service (Western Australia): Butterworths 1999+ (loose-leaf and online)


Administration Act 1903 (WA) (especially ss 12A–15)

The Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) [formerly the Inheritance (Family and Dependants Provision) Act 1972 (WA)]

Trustees Act 1962 (WA)

Wills Act 1970 (WA) (as amended) by the Wills Amendment Act 2008 (WA)

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