Law of Succession | Abertay University

Law of Succession


This module examines the law and practice of Succession and trusts in Scotland


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge skills and practical understanding of the law of trusts and succession

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Explain and apply the principles of the law of succession in Scotland in relation to testate and intestate succession

2.  Explain and apply the principles of law in relation to trusts and understand the uses of trusts in succession, family situations and how trust are used in commercial transactions

3.  Apply those skills by drafting wills, and other documents using technology as appropriate

4.  Demonstrate skills of comprehension, application of legal principle and reflection

Indicative Content

1 Intestate Succession

Succession in moveables and heritage; prior rights; legal rights; collation; order of succession; re spouses, children, cohabitants, civil partners. Reform

2 Testate Succession

Capacity,and diminshed capacity, execution of wills, execution and amendment of wills by third parties, uncertainty; revocation; subsequent births; transfer of heritage; classification of legacies; accretion; election; residue, division per capita, per stirpes,destinations- over; the unworthy heir, missing persons, common calamity, public policy considerations, forfeiture

3 Will Substitutes

Nominations and special destination of liferent and fee and survivorship.

4 Trusts

Constitution; public and private; charitable trusts; uncertainty; revocability; liferents; vesting; variation; termination of trust. Reform. Scottish Law Commission Reports

5 Trustees

Appointment; assumption and resignation; administration; duties; powers; breach of trust and remedies; investment powers; liability to creditors; discharge. Reform

6 Drafting and Interpretation of Wills

Words of severance and conjunction, terms, public policy considerations, prohibitions of accumulations and successive liferents.Conditional institution and substituion

7 Inheritance Tax

An overview of the structure and charging of IHT in relation to wills.

8 Adults with Incapacity

The recognition of the issues relating to elderly and other adults who are incapable of managing their affairs. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. Continuing financial and welfare attorneys, financial and welfare guardianship, intervention orders, power to intromit with accounts. The Office of the Public Guardian. Human rights concerns and reform.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is delivered by lectures and tutorials. Lectures are interactive and students are encouraged to participate. The practical computer labs require students to draft wills and develop skills of formal legal drafting and legal letter writing. Students will submit one draft as part of the portfolio. Students are encouraged to identify the differing voices required for effective communication used in academic legal writing, and professional voices in relation to clients and in legal drafting. Feedback will be provided on the drafting exercisesubmission in week 6 during structured feedback week. The remaining portfolio items will test knowledge and understanding over the remainder of the succession and trusts syllabus and will utilise problem based questions.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 26
Tutorial/Seminar 13
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 121

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.