University of Technology Sydney

76517 Succession

Requisite(s): ( 70517 Equity and Trusts OR ((94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04236 Juris Doctor OR 142 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04250 Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04363 Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04364 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Trade Mark Law and Practice) AND 70106c Principles of Public International Law AND 70107c Principles of Company Law) OR (94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04320 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Professional Legal Practice AND 70106 Principles of Public International Law))
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.


Succession concerns the legal transfer of rights and obligations upon death. As an area of legal practice, succession regulates a deceased person's transfer of property, their directions upon death and the administration of their estate. Wills form a significant component of succession law, including the drafting, interpreting and challenging of wills as well as what happens at law when a person dies without a will.

This subject takes a theoretical and practical approach to the study of the law of wills in New South Wales with references to other laws where appropriate. Students consider the interpretation and application of relevant case law and the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) and investigate the legal requirements of a valid will, including the requirement of testamentary capacity and the circumstances courts use to determine whether a will is valid. Legislation and case law concerning informal testamentary documents are examined and, through a series of fact scenarios, students consider how the law may determine succession and the disposition of property.

Family arrangements are a changing phenomenon in society and connected issues of succession are also considered. A focus on the themes of testamentary freedom, forced succession and familial responsibility invites students to consider what 'family' actually means, including blended families and the status of adopted, IVF and surrogate children in the scheme of succession to property upon death in NSW.

Students apply their legal knowledge and develop their skills in drafting valid wills. They also practise critically analysing client problems regarding a succession issue and drafting an appropriate advice. Written communication is an important component of the work of lawyers and other professionals, particularly in succession cases involving people's emotions. In this subject students have ongoing opportunities to build their capacity to write succinctly and clearly.

Detailed subject description.

Fee information

Information to assist with determining the applicable fee type can be found at Understanding fees.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.