This area of concentration builds upon a number of courses required of all students, such as Trusts & Estates, Business Organizations I, and Basic Taxation Principles for Lawyers. Students enrolled in the Estate Planning area of concentration work under the direct supervision of an experienced estate planner devising an estate plan, working on drafts of documents, and working through the steps of the administration of an estate.
Practice in the trusts and estates area has changed dramatically over the last decade. Some trusts and estates lawyers specialize in trust, estate and fiduciary liability dispute resolution. Societal and economic factors are contributing to an explosion in litigation in this area as the traditional family unit continues to break down and the amount of accumulated wealth increases.
Consequently, students interested in this type of litigation may concentrate in Estate Planning, take the Wealth Transfer and Administration of Estates courses in conjunction with a General Civil Litigation concentration, or coordinate their classes so that they successfully complete both concentrations.
The student seeking a more traditional trusts and estates practice by concentrating in Estate Planning will discover that, in addition to the traditional tax emphasis, increasing coverage is given to asset preservation and family business planning. Students who anticipate a general business planning practice may coordinate the Estate Planning concentration with the Business Transactions concentration due to the interrelationship between closely-held business planning and the owner’s personal estate planning.
In addition to taking Trusts & Estates, Business Organizations I, and Basic Taxation Principles for Lawyers (courses required of all students), those choosing to concentrate in Estate Planning must complete the following courses:
|Course Name||Credit Hours|
|Administration of Estates Capstone||1|
|Administration of Estates||2*|
|Taxation of Individuals||3|
|Taxation of Partnerships||3|
|Trusts and Estates Capstone||1*|
Estate Planning students also must complete at least one of the following courses:
|Course Name||Credit Hours|
|Family Business Planning||2|
Estate Planning students must either complete the Client Counseling course or participate in the annual Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee Client Counseling Competition.
*All students completing the Estate Planning concentration must participate in the Administration of Estates Capstone (1) and the Trusts & Estates Capstone (1). Students with at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the end of their first year or who made a grade of at least ’B’ in Trusts & Estates I will be allowed to participate in the capstone experiences upon the completion of the capstone prerequisites. Students who do not meet the criteria to participate in the capstone may participate in independent studies, which will give them a similar experience to the capstone.
For additional information, contact Professor Featherston.