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Succession - JURD7493
 Basser Steps

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1081 & LAWS1082; JURD7281 & JURD7282
Excluded: LAWS3393
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Succession is an elective course which depends on a knowledge of Property and Equity. It will thus consolidate your knowledge of property and equity and draw together many other aspects of the undergraduate curriculum in law. The course is designed to serve the intending practitioner and to cover some academic aspects of the law of Succession - that is, the law regarding the transmission of property from one generation to another, usually on death. It is suggested that the best practitioners in this area are those with sufficient intellectual understanding and curiosity to connect different doctrinal areas of law in a way which serves their clients' interests most comprehensively. This includes recognising factors which shape the laws regarding inheritance and recognising where changes in those factors are likely to alter the needs of clients in matters like estate planning.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

Must have completed Property, Equity and Trusts 1 and 2. It is helpful to have done Trusts or to do Trusts concurrently.

Course Objectives

The aims of the course are to achieve the following learning outcomes:
  • To develop your intellectual understanding and curiosity sufficiently to connect different doctrinal areas of law as they pertain to the law and culture of inheritance
  • To recognise the factors in the law of succession which serve people's interests or fail them. (This includes recognising factors which shape the laws regarding inheritance and recognising where changes in those factors are likely to alter the needs of clients in matters like estate planning).
  • To develop drafting and communication skills which are specific to the needs of succession law as well as those which apply more widely. This applies particularly to the will drafting exercise which is highly recommended to students.

Main Topics

  • Introduction - history and nature of Succession
  • Comparative Succession Law
  • Intestate Succession ( succession where there is no will)
  • Death and the body in succession law
  • Testate Succession or the Law of Wills
  • Family Provision
  • Grants of Representation and some Powers and Duties Legal Personal Representatives
  • Administration of Assets


Class participation (including diary) (10%)
Will drafting exercise (50%)
Exam or essay (40%)

Course Texts


  • Croucher and Vines, Succession: families, Property and death, 3rd ed, 2009
  • Supplementary materials (both available from UNSW Bookshop)
  • Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW)
  • Succession Act 2006 (NSW)


These books are available in the Law Library and in Law Reserve:

  • Certoma, The Law of Succession in New South Wales, 3rd ed, LBC, 1997
  • Geddes, Rowland and Studdert Wills Probate and Administration Act, LBC, 1996
  • De Groot and Nickel Family Provision in Australia and New Zealand, 2nd ed LexisNexis Butterworths, 2001
  • Dickey Family Provision After Death, LBC, 1992
  • Finch, Mason, Masson, Wallis and Hayes Wills, Inheritance and Families, Clarendon UP, 1996
  • Lee Manual of Queensland Succession Law, 5th ed., LBC, 2001
  • Cassidy, J Mutual Wills, Federation Press, Sydney, 2000
  • Haines, D Succession Law in South Australia, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, Sydney, 2003
  • Lewis, R Elder Law in Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004
  • Mackie and Burton Outline of Succession, 2nd ed., Butterworths, 2000
  • Mason and Handler Wills, Probate and Administration Service – NSW (looseleaf), Butterworths
  • Parkinson (ed) Principles of Equity, 2nd ed LBC, 2002
  • Rowland, Hutley’s Australian Wills Precedents, 6th ed, Butterworths, 2003. This book is highly recommended.
  • Sherrin and Barlow Williams’ Law Relating to Wills, 6th ed. Butterworths, London, 1991
  • Woodman Administration of Assets, 2nd ed., LBC 1978.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.