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LAW8721 Estate Planning

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Estate Planning
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 090999 - Law not elsewhere classified
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Katie Murray


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DJUR or LLBH or LLMC
Co-requisite: LAW8001 or LAW5111


This course provides postgraduate students with an in-depth study of the legal, regulatory and taxation issues arising in estate planning. The course builds upon foundational knowledge gained in previous studies and through practical experience and covers topics such as wills, estates, family law and death, business succession planning, superannuation and the taxation consequences of each. Students will further develop their skills in legal research, problem solving and taxation planning.


This course provides the fundamental legal knowledge required for effective taxation and estate planning. The course provides a structured approach for effective taxation and estate planning by commencing with the purpose of estate planning, duties of care and professional responsibilities. Students will learn and have opportunities to apply legal problem solving skills in the areas of wills, testamentary trusts, taxation of estates, family breakdown before and after death, business and superannuation succession planning. Students will be assessed via two in-depth case studies which focus on the research and application of legal principles relevant both pre and post death.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. evaluate developments in chosen areas of estate planning (meaning the planning of a testator’s estate before death, including planning to account for the taxation implications of death), and critically examine the relationship between those developments and contemporary theory or practice in estate planning (PO 1);
  2. demonstrate [interpret and apply] advanced knowledge of the impact of other legal systems on the substance, theory and practice of estate planning in Australia (PO 2);
  3. undertake, interpret and evaluate research in estate planning using advanced legal research methodologies and techniques (PO 3); and
  4. articulate advanced knowledge of the law that applies to estate planning in written presentations (PO 4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Estate Planning and the Client Relationship 10.00
2. Wills, Probate and Succession 20.00
3. Estates that cross borders 10.00
4. Property and Trusts 10.00
5. Taxation of Estates 20.00
6. Business Succession Planning 10.00
7. Specific legal issues – family breakdown, capacity and possible claims against the Estate 10.00
8. Superannuation and Death 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Perkins, M & Monahan, R 2015, Estate Planning: A Practical Guide for Estate and Financial Service Professionals, 4th edn, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, Australia.
Students should also have access to the following text ONLINE: Deutsch, RL, Friezer, ML, Fullerton, IG, Hanley, PJ & Snape, TJ 2020, Australian Tax Handbook 2020, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales (available electronically via USQ Library Westlaw Au database at

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Flynn, M & Stewart, M 2014, Death & Taxes: Tax-Effective Estate Planning, 6th edn, Thomson Reuters, Australia.
Davies, B, Australian Estate Planning, CCH Australia, Sydney, New South Wales (available electronically via USQ Library CCH IntelliConnect database at

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 25.00
Private Study 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
PROPOSAL FOR CASE STUDY 1 10 10 16 Aug 2021 3,4
PROPOSAL FOR CASE STUDY 2 10 10 20 Sep 2021 3,4
CASE STUDY 1 40 40 27 Sep 2021 1,2,3,4
CASE STUDY 2 40 40 22 Oct 2021 1,2,3,4

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item. Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students studying this course as part of a law program must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in a law program may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Evaluation and benchmarking

1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.

2. forms part of the Juris Doctor program and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Date printed 21 July 2021