771 Trusts & Estates I - §001, Spring 2013

Categories: Estate Planning/Elder Law

Instructor(s) Erlanger, Howard

"TNE" is a survey course on the legal and policy aspects of transmission of property, usually at death. It covers such topics as intestate succession (dying without a will), wills, trusts and will substitutes, limitations on the disposition of assets and the impact of the Marital Property Act, powers of attorney and end-of-life decision making, and basic issues in the taxation of gifts and transfers at death. In addition to legal fundamentals, the course has a strong focus on how the law plays out on the ground.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment
It is my goal and expectation that at the completion of the course, students will demonstrate:
– Thorough understanding of the core elements of the law of intestacy, wills, trusts, and
non-probate transfers.
– Thorough understanding of the core elements of law protecting the rights of the
surviving spouse, and how these differ in common law and community property states.
– Thorough understanding of the core considerations involved in creating and using
advance directives.
– Thorough understanding of the core elements of community property and Wisconsin
marital property law, and the ways this area of law affects the analysis of TNE topics.
– A very basic understanding of the transfer tax and income tax issues that affect TNE
planning.
– The ability to recognize the basic ethical and professional issues that emerge in the
practice of TNE.
– Understanding of the real world context in which all TNE activities take place and the
ways in which the activities of ordinary people affect legal planning and outcomes.

The primary assessment tool for the course will be a final exam where students will demonstrate
the capabilities listed above by recognizing them when they are embedded in hypothetical fact
situations, and analyzing the relevant issues to the extent discussed in class.

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