Wills, Trusts, and Estates – PLST 235

CG • Section • 01/03/2020 to 06/11/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A study of the basic devices in gratuitous transfers, including the will and trust; selected problems in class gifts, and will and trust substitutes; and social restrictions upon the power of testation, the formation of property interests, and the trust device.




The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the law governing wills, trusts, and estates administration. Paralegal professionals often play an important role in drafting wills, trusts, and related documents in the probate and estate administration process. Therefore, this course is designed to expose the student to the legal issues encountered in this field of law and the related documents used by legal professionals to meet the needs of clients.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the benefits of and need for a will.
  2. Explain the process related to and documents required for the will drafting and estate planning process including wills, advance directives, powers of attorney, trusts, and other related documents.
  3. Explain the process related to and the documents required for the administration of an estate including probate court documents and filings, tax documents, and other related documents.
  4. Draft a simple will and related documents.
  5. Analyze all of the preceding in light of a distinctly evangelical Christian worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook, article, blog, and scripture readings; lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Three Discussion Board Forums will be posted in order to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant current course topics. The student is required to post 1 thread of at least 250 words. The student must also post 2 replies of at least 150 words. For each thread, the student must support his/her assertions with at least 3 citations, in current Bluebook format. Each reply should cite at least 1 source, also in current Bluebook format. Acceptable sources include your textbook, the Bible, and one more scholarly, academic source—for the purposes of this class, posts to the blog www.rodneychrisman.com will be considered scholarly, academic sources in order to integrate a proper Christian worldview.

Initial Writing Assignment

The student will write a paper of at least 500 words integrating biblical perspectives as they relate to social security. The student will support his/her writing with at least 2 scholarly, academic sources. The paper must be completed in current Bluebook format.

Your Will and Related Documents Assignment

The student will draft a simple will, advance directives, power of attorney, and other related documents as indicated in the assignment instructions.

Case Studies

The student will complete three case studies that integrate knowledge and application.

Tests (4)

The student will complete 4 tests, each consisting of 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions. All tests are open-book, open-notes; however, be advised that there is a time limit of 1 hour. The student may not receive help from another person while taking the exam.