ILC102 - Probate and Estates

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:48:16.275
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:48:25.597

Subject Title
Probate and Estates

Subject Description
This subject deals with the preparation of wills, powers of attorney and the administration of estates. This includes the collection, realization and management of the assets of the deceased and settlement of the debts of the estate, the payment of legacies and the distribution of the residue to the beneficiaries. The documents to be filed to obtain the required court certificates, preparation of estate accounts, administration of ongoing trusts and the preparation of income tax returns, and estate related litigation are covered. This subject is especially appropriate for those currently employed as law clerks or experienced legal secretaries. A good command of the written English language is a definite asset.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards the Institute of Law Clerks Certificate Program, which prepares you to write the Institute of Law Clerks provincial Estates examination. Upon successful completion of the ILCO examination,the Institute forwards a certificate along with the Estates seal. There are places for four seals to be affixed to the certificate, representing each of the four examinations. This certificate indicates you have successfully completed the educational requirements of the Institute of Law Clerks Associate level Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Apply the basic principles of estate administration law;

2. Utilize knowledge of statutes affecting estate administration in Ontario;

3. Analyze whether a will is correctly prepared and executed;

4. Identify powers relevant to estate administration;

5. Identify the persons entitled to apply for the Certificate of Estate Trustee and the beneficiaries of the estate in circumstances when there is an intestacy;

6. Apply a working knowledge of the Ontario Court system as it relates to estates and the various types of certificates to be applied for;

7. Discuss details of the assets of an estate, documents required to collect or transfer those assets, payments of debts and testamentary expenses and distribution of residue, including the rules of abatement, ademption and lapse.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

One year qualifying employment in a legal environment working under the direct supervision of a lawyer

Topic Outline

  • Introduction to Estate Administration
  • The Last Will and Testament - Statutory Considerations
  • Intestacy
  • Estates Court
  • Jurisdiction and Estate Certificates
  • Steps in the Administration of an Estate
  • Family Law Act Election
  • Income Tax
  • Trusts
  • Preparation and Passing of Accounts
  • Estate Litigation 

Mode of Instruction
 Students learn through classroom lectures, discussion and group problem solving. Any matters covered in class and/or in the assigned readings will constitute part of the subject content and be eligible for inclusion on all assessments. It is ESSENTIAL that students read assigned material before class and make careful notes on the reading material as well as in-class lectures and discussion. It is extremely important for students to be prepared for class and to be actively involved in discussions as this greatly aids the learning process.  

It is your responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on Blackboard or in class. Students will not be able to access Blackboard as of the last day of the student's class. 

Prescribed Texts
Fazakas, D., Wills and Estates. Fourth Edition, 2017.  Toronto: Emond Montgomery. ISBN# 9781772552058.

Reference Material
Gibbs, K., Rabinowitz, A., Awerbuck, R., Joel, Astaidis, Lay, The Practical Guide to Ontario Estate Administration (Latest Edition). Toronto: Carswell
Consolidated Ontario Estates Statutes and Regulations Latest Edition. Toronto: Carswell, 
Estate Planning and Administration (Law Society of Upper Canada Bar Admission Course) 
Rintoul, Ontario Estate Administration (Fifth Edition). Toronto: LexisNexis Canada 
Armstrong, Estate Administration:  A Solicitors' Reference Manual.  Toronto: Carswell I

Tax returns, schedules and guides (Canada Revenue Agency) available online at

Statutes and Regulations are available online at  

Required Supplies
Notebook or three-ring binder, paper, pens, highlighter, calculator and above texts

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme: 

Term Test 50%
Final Exam 50%

Some aids may be allowed during testing and will be identified by the instructor.
Students must attain a combined grade of at least 50% on term work and the final exam to pass the course.

Please Note
  • Tests and the final exams are evaluated on subject knowledge as well as correct language usage, organization, and mastery of the subject. 
  • In recognition of the significance of proper language skills in the work of a Law Clerk, marks are deducted, in accordance with departmental policy, for language errors on all tests and exams. (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence, and paragraph structure, etc.) 

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor prior to the next scheduled class. If your reason is accepted, you will be permitted to write a make-up test. Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.

Approved by: Sandra Noble