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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Succession and Trust Law (LAWS08130)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to the law of succession and the law of trusts under the law of Scotland. Succession introduces students to the legal rules regulating the distribution of property upon death, and the principles informing those rules. Trust law introduces students to the legal institution of trusts whereby property is handed to a trustee to administer, and ultimately distribute to beneficiaries, in accordance with the instructions of the truster (the person creating the trust).
Both subjects form part of the legal knowledge outcomes required by the Law Society of Scotland for admission to practice as a solicitor in Scotland.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Contract and Unjustified Enrichment (LAWS08094) AND Family Law Ordinary (LAWS08101)) OR ( Contract and Unjustified Enrichment (LAWS08127) AND Family Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08126))
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Property Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08133)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents must have passed Contract and Unjustified Enrichment (LAWS08127) AND Family Law Ordinary (LAWS08126) or comparable courses already taken in the home institution. Students must also take Property Law Ordinary (LAWS08133) alongside this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  300
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 13/01/2025
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% unseen final examination lasting 2 hours, mainly using problem-type questions.

Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students who pass this course will have had to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: knowledge of the law of liferent and fee as understood as a) subordinate real rights ('proper liferent') and b) liferents in their instantiations as trusts ('improper liferents').
  2. Students who pass this course will have had to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: knowledge of the law of succession in the following particulars: (a) testate succession, including material on the formal validity and the interpretation of testaments, and the nature and type of legacies recognised in Scots law, as well as considering how to distribute a testate estate in accordance with any testament and legal rights claims. (b) intestate succession, including the distribution of an estate using prior rights, legal rights, and free estate rules. (c) introductory executory processes concerning the appointment and confirmation of executors (nominate and dative), and their duties in gathering (d) the law of persons in death in relation to various types of individuals, including married persons and civil partners, cohabitants, and children.
  3. Students who pass this course will have had to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: knowledge of the law of trusts in the following particulars (a) the concept of a trust, including the main characters involved in creating a trust (b) the creation of a trust and the appointment of trustees (c) the office of trustee (d) the performative obligations of trustees (e) breach of trust, and remedies and mitigation of liability for breach of trust (f) uses and effects of trusts (g) variation and termination of trusts (h) charitable and public trusts (i) constructive trusts
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Having completed the course students should have, and be able to demonstrate, the following skills:

- Ability to think creatively by applying knowledge to multifaceted problems and provide accurate answers in written and oral form
- Ability to present arguments for or against a proposition in a dispassionate manner
- Complex evaluative and critical problem solving
- Numeracy skills. Succession law presupposes a basic level of numeracy: as in insolvency law, there is an estate to be distributed between a variety of potential claimants.
- The use of electronic and print resources
- Development of doctrinal and taxonomical reasoning skills
- Leading on from the foregoing, succession law calls for precise solutions. Its study encourages habits of accuracy. Mere waffle is exposed and penalised.
- The drafting exercise likewise assists the students to develop the ability to express themselves clearly and unambiguously
- Ability to weigh up the relative strengths that different arguments have in relation to one another
- Leading on from the foregoing, students should gain intellectual strength in reflecting on the competing policy arguments that exist within succession law, such as the interests of dependent children, non-dependent children, other relatives, dependent spouses, non-dependent spouses, cohabitants, society as represented by the state, the interest of the individual in relation to her or his autonomy (freedom of testation)
KeywordsSuccession and Trusts
Course organiserProf Alexandra Braun
Tel: (0131 6)51 5560
Course secretaryMiss Emma Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
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