Death and Inheritance Law (LAWS5127)


In terms of content, the unit covers the law that governs the transmission of property rights on the death the holder of those property rights to other persons. The unit begins with an overview of succession law in Australia; looking at testamentary freedom in its historical context; the development of powers of testation, and the reception of English law in NSW. The unit then considers the modern family relationships for succession; the boundaries of the law of succession (dealing with such matters as nominations, donationes mortis causa and contracts involving wills); the legal fact of death; intestate succession, the law of wills, family provision legislation and if time permits some aspects of the administration of deceased estates. Students who wish to practise in the area of succession law are encourage to consider studying this unit, because the matters covered in this unit are indispensable for a career in succession, property and inheritance. From a pedagogical perspective, the assessment is structured to improve the oral , research and problem-solving skills of students. There will be a problem-solving session at the end of the course. The classroom-style is structured to encourage students to participate in discussion and to learn collaboratively.

Further unit of study information


2x2-hr seminars/week for 10 weeks


Structured class presentation (20%) and 2000wd research essay (30%) and 1hr (30 mins reading time) open-book exam (50%). NB Subject to change and dependent on enrolment numbers.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS3427 or LAWS3056

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.