LXE411 - Estates

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-05 10:34:04.301
Last review date 2018-07-05 10:34:08.069

Subject Title

Subject Description
This subject is a study of the laws and procedures concerning the drafting of wills, powers of attorney and estate administration in Ontario. The first part of this subject concentrates on the laws relating to testacy and intestacy and basic will drafting. The remainder of the subject examines aspects of estate administration including administration prior to obtaining a certificate, estate certificates, asset administration, passing of accounts, income tax returns and powers of attorney.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards the Seneca Law Clerk Diploma Program offered through the School of Legal and Public Administration and the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of testacy and intestacy legislation.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of will drafting.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of and familiarity with the practice and procedure of estate administration.

4. Organize and draft commonly used forms and documents in administering estates.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of and familiarity with basic trusts relating to estate matters and powers of attorney.

6. Apply organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills relating to wills and estates.

7. Demonstrate an attitude of professionalism, as evidenced by an ability to meet deadlines, complete assignments and perform tests and in-class assignments as scheduled.

8. Demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes related to essential employability skills:

a. communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience

b. respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication

c. apply a systematic approach to solve problems

d. use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems

e. locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems

f. analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources

g. manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects

h. take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences

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 http://library.senecacollege.ca 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 student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

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.

All Module Three Courses

It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Course content and your instructor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Topic Outline
I. Introduction to Estates Law

II. Testacy/Intestacy/Will Drafting 

A. Basics of will drafting 
B. Relevant legislation 
1. Succession Law Reform Act
2. Family Law Act
C. Intestacies


III. Estate Administration Prior to Obtaining a Court Certificate 

A. Roles of estate trustee and solicitor 
B. Locating assets and determining liabilities
C. Estate trustee's responsibilities

IV  Certificates of Estate Trustee 

A. Jurisdiction 
B. Application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with/without a will 
C. Applications for "Other" Certificates
D. Calculation of Estate Administration tax
V. Asset Administration 
A. Realization of assets 
B. Dealing with liabilities and creditors
C. Distribution of  the estate

VI  Estate Conveyancing
A. Preliminary Concerns
B. Joint Tenancy
C. Testacy
D. Intestacy

VII  Court Disputes 

VIII  Passing of Accounts 
A. Duty to keep accounts 
B. Obligation to pass accounts 
C. Documents, procedure, costs, compensation 
D. Court powers 

IX   Estate Taxation Matters 
A. Personal income tax returns T1 
B. Trust tax returns T3 
C. Rollovers 
D. Clearance Certificates


  Trust Basics 
A. Terminology 
B. Classification, Types 

XI  Trustees, Beneficiaries 
A. Trustees - Parties 
B. Beneficiaries 

XII  Estate Planning and Trusts 
A. Uses 
B. Benefits 

XIII  Ethical Issues in Estates Law


XIV  Powers of Attorney 
A. Definition and purpose 
B. Powers of Attorney for property and personal care
C. Legislation 

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. Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2011. ISBN# 9781552393819

Reference Material
Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990 as amended. 
Winterstein, M.Louise. Procedures for the Canadian Legal Office, Most Recent Edition.
Armstrong, Anne. Estate Administration: A Solicitor's Reference Manual. Carswell. 
Consolidated Ontario Estate Statutes and Regulations 2012 Carswell.

NOTE:  Photocopied texts are not permitted.

Required Supplies
Notebook or three-ring binder, paper, pens, calculator, highlighter 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 (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

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

Term Test 35%
Assignment 35%
Final Exam 30%

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

Please Note
Assignments, tests and the final examination 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, assignments and exams. (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence, and paragraph structure, etc.) 

  • The student must retain a copy of all assignments.
  • If assignments are handed in late without sufficient medical or other reason, which must be documented and approved, two marks per day will be deducted for each day the assignment is late up to a maximum of 10 marks in total. 
  • Assignments will not be accepted after the return of graded assignments to the class and/or the provision to the class of the answers to the assignment.
  • Written assignments must be word processed. At the professor’s discretion, assignments that are not word processed, may be subject to mark deduction or not accepted. 
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor

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.

Field Placement Requirements
Students who do not successfully complete all professional courses may not be eligible for placement. 

Academic Honesty
Students at Seneca College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavours. When students cheat on an examination, steal the words or ideas of another, or falsify their research results, it corrupts the learning process. A Seneca College degree, diploma or certificate signifies to society mastery of a set of defined learning outcomes in a designated field of study. If academic credit is obtained dishonestly, the value of every graduate's diploma in the field of study is diminished, as is the reputation of the college as a whole.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
The penalty for a first offence is a grade of '0' on the assignment or examination. The penalty for the second offence is expulsion for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three terms. For further information refer to the policies section of the Seneca College student handbook, or to the following website: http://library.senecacollege.ca/Academic_Honesty/

Please Note: In the Law Clerk Diploma Program, in accordance with graduation requirements, students are required to complete Twenty (20) days of field placement. Students must achieve an average net keyboarding speed of at least 50 nwpm on three five-minute timed writings, with five errors or less. 

Approved by: Sandra Noble