Estate Planning – BUSI 354

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 10/27/2020

Course Description

Estate Planning focuses on the efficient conservation and transfer of wealth, consistent with the goals of a financial planner’s clients. It is a study of the legal, tax, financial and non-financial aspects of this process, covering topics such as: trusts, wills, probate, advanced directives, charitable giving, wealth transfers, and related taxes.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Estate planning ensures that clients’ needs and wishes are met when they are no longer able to do so for themselves, providing for families, financial interests, and long-term goals. This course is designed to teach the student how to use financial planning and legal tools to plan for incapacity, family dynamics, death, and gifting goals of individual clients.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze estate planning needs and taxation requirements.
  2. Create an estate planning proposal that includes techniques for meeting estate goals.
  3. Outline the challenges of planning an estate including: the probate system; client-estate planning needs; client-estate planning objectives; efficient methods of wealth transfer for a client’s specific situation; lifetime gifting strategies; taxation regulations; planning related to marriage, divorce, children, and incapacity; tax-favored retirement assets; liquidity; minimizing taxation; and conserving assets and minimizing expenses.
  4. Evaluate future changes in a client’s situation in order to provide forward-looking estate planning advice.
  5. Identify the importance of teamwork as it relates to estate planning.
  6. Explain how a scriptural framework should guide a Christian financial planner in preparing a client’s estate.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (6)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will respond to 6 Discussion Board Forum prompts that will elaborate on the course textbook material and will analyze a topic or question presented in the course textbook material. The student will also reply to a classmate’s thread (MLO: A, B, C, F).

Client Interview

The student will respond to a video interview with a potential client. Based on the interview, the student will submit a document that analyzes the probate and tax status of the client’s family without an estate plan. The student will then identify the estate planning issues for the family and begin to outline his/her estate plan (MLO: A, B, C, D, E).

Estate Plan Exam

The student will read through and analyze the Estate Plan Scenario provided in the assignment instructions folder. The student will then proceed to answer all 20 of the multiple-choice questions following the scenario. Once he/she has finished answering these questions, the student will then be ready to move on to the Estate Plan Exam. This exam will randomly ask 10 of the 20 questions that follow the Estate Plan Scenario. The student will have 10 minutes for the exam, so the process of answering the questions must be done before the student attempts the exam (MLO: A, C, E).

Estate Plan

After taking the Estate Plan Exam, the student will analyze his/her answers to the 10 questions asked during the exam. The student will write a memo to his/her “supervisor” explaining his/her choices for the estate plan for Kathi and Darren. In this memo, the student must explain his/her rationale for choosing the answers that he/she chose during the Estate Plan Exam. This memo must be 10–12 pages, double-spaced, and must conform to proper formatting, spelling, grammar, and current APA guidelines (MLO: A, B, C, D).

Quizzes (7)

The student will complete 8 quizzes that cover the assigned reading. All quizzes are open-book/open-notes, and some questions will require calculations. The student may not receive help from another person while taking the quiz (MLO: B, C).