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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Trusts and Succession (LAWS10219)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course has two main parts. The first considers the core policy and doctrines governing the intergenerational transfer of wealth in mixed, common law and civil law systems. The second considers advanced topics in the administration and organisation of trusts, as they have developed in Scotland and in the onshore and offshore jurisdictions of the Anglo-common law world.

Students will become familiar with the range of legal structures used to transfer and manage wealth, both on death and inter vivos. Their knowledge will be enriched by the comparative study of trust and succession systems and the different rationales that shape their development.
Course description 1. The law of intestacy in historical and comparative perspective, including the prevailing models and their underpinning rationale;
2. The intentional inter-generational transfer of wealth by the use of wills and other instruments, including will-substitutes and potential tensions they give rise to;
3. The scope of private autonomy and its restrictions, including the competing interests of family succession and freedom of disposition;
4. Power structures in inheritance, including the protection of vulnerable testators and vulnerable heirs and beneficiaries;
5. A comparison between common law and civil law approaches to the administration and distribution of wealth on death, whether by transfer direct to an heir or through an executor;
6. Trusts as asset partitioning structures in Scots and Anglo-common law systems;
7. Anglo-common law analyses of property-holding under trusts;
8. Trustees duties in investment of assets and delegation of trustee functions;
9. Exclusion of trustees liability for breach of trust;
10. Beneficiaries rights to information about the governance of the trust.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Succession and Trust Law (LAWS08130) AND Property Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08133)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Students must have passed Succession and Trust Law (LAWS08130) AND Property Law Ordinary (LAWS08133) or equivalent courses at their home institution.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by one essay (5,000 words)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will obtain a critical understanding of the core principles and debates in succession law and the rationale underpinning current laws. They will extend their existing knowledge of trust doctrine in Scots law to advanced topics in the administration of trust assets, as it has developed in the onshore and offshore jurisdictions of the Anglo-common law tradition.
  2. Students will develop an autonomous engagement with primary common and civil law sources and the ability to think creatively about their application to concrete situations. They will further develop an ability to engage with theoretical and practical questions, as well as with policy debates.
  3. By interactive discussion, students will learn the value of shared dialogue to the formation and refinement of their thinking. The will also develop an ability to formulate considered questions, to articulate connected explanations, and a sensitivity to terminological issues in the field.
  4. Confidence in handling and discussing complex legal materials across mixed, civil and common law jurisdictions.
  5. Sophisticated use of primary and secondary written materials, and the ability to articulate their meaning both orally and in writing
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Fox
Tel: (0131 6)50 2054
Course secretaryMiss Robyn Blyth
Tel: (01316) 514550
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