The Wills, Trusts & Estates Specialist

The intergenerational transfer of wealth is controlled by both statutory and common law principles applicable to a particular jurisdiction. Competing views of the individual’s freedom of disposition and state power both to channel and to tax property have led to an interesting and complex array of legal devices and institutions that govern the proper way to gift certain types of property, trusts and other instruments of ownership. From statutory intestacy and elective share provisions, wills, and trusts to planning for incapacity, future interests in property, powers of appointment, life insurance, and introductory aspects of trust and estate administration, this course examines the everyday use of laws that govern how these instruments can be passed on from generation to generation as intended by the original or subsequent owners.


The Wills, Trusts & Estates Specialist Program

This program explores the ins and outs of the legal and ethical requirements necessary to develop and administer an estate plan. Students will be introduced to highly-specialized legal vocabulary pertaining to these particular legal fields, as well as relevant substantive and procedural law that govern wills, trusts and estates.

For those students looking toward law school or who are interested in the paralegal profession, this program offers an incredibly useful and realistic look into the actual work that lawyers and legal professionals do every day. As part of this course, students will produce an estate planning and estate administration portfolio of relevant documents that thoroughly covers the wills, trusts, and estates legal specialty.


Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Examine estate planning considerations
  • Analyze the rules of intestate succession
  • Describe the requirements for a valid will
  • Prepare a living will and powers of attorney
  • Prepare a basic will
  • Examine the requirements of trusts and supporting documents
  • Describe the duties of a personal representative and procedure for appointment
  • Create the initial estate administration documents
  • Prepare an inventory document
  • Examine creditor claims
  • Describe tax law as it relates to estate planning
  • Prepare final accounting and estate closing documents
  • Describe estate administration concerns
  • Use Microsoft Office


Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.

National Certification

Upon successful completion of this  program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program  will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location.