Course Abstract Details

LGST-109, Estates and Trusts

Credits: 3

Course Description

LGST-109, Estates and Trusts, is an introduction to law of wills, trusts, and gifts. Students will study the paralegal's role in the process of drafting documents, handling administration, and filing tax returns for an estate. Prerequisite: exemption/completion of READ-099. Three hours lecture each week. Three credits. Three billable hours.

Course Objectives and Grading Information


1. General and specific knowledge of the area of the probate, estate and fiduciary practice as they relate to specific areas of wills, trusts, and estate practice. 

2. Hands-on approach to the practical aspects of assisting a lawyer to serve clients and ethical issues in the various areas of this specialized practice. 

3. A working knowledge of the functions and operation of the court in dealing with the wills, trust and estate issues. 

4. Law office procedure, billing practices, communication with clients and file management. 

5. Recognition and familiarity with specialized areas of Orphans' Court practice. 

6. Understanding and familiarity with the practice and procedures in the following areas of wills, trust and estates (Orphans' Court Practice): 

a. Preparation of wills and trusts. 

b. Disposition of estates without probate, preliminary steps before probate, the issuing of letters testamentary and letters of administration including who may qualify as administrator. 

c. Will contest disclaims and renunciations. 

d. Gathering information concerning the assets of the estate and duties following grant of letters. 

e. Family exemptions and elections to take against the will. 

f. Disposition of debts and claims against the estate. 

g. Preparation of and filing inventory, Maryland inheritance, estate and income returns along with the Federal Estate and income tax return. 

h. Preparation of family settlement agreements on formal accounting for presenting at audit and distribution of the estate assets. 

i. Adoption formed and requirements, appointment of guardians for minors and incapacitated persons.    

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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