Skip To The Main Content

In This Section

Estate planning lawyers design and implement legal strategies to manage and transfer clients’ property interests to succeeding generations. Estate and trust administration lawyers assist and advise personal representatives of estates and trustees of trusts, and lawyers practicing in this area are sometimes called upon to defend lawsuits regarding the validity or construction of wills or trust instruments.

Trusts and Estates Resources

Trusts and Estates Faculty

Trusts and Estates Path View

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
  • Core Course

    Wills, Estates, and Trusts I

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed to give the student a grounding in the general law relating to donative transfers of property interests taking place at death. It covers intestate succession, wills laws, nonprobate transfers, and some trust laws. It is not jurisdiction-specific; instead, it focuses on majority and minority rules and trends in the law. Jurisdictional comparisons often will be made.

    When offered as a distance learning course, there will be required weekly readings from the casebook, regular mini-lectures on prerecorded video accompanied by PowerPoint slides, discussion forums to which students must make posts each week, and weekly assessments, including quizzes. All course material other than the casebook will be accessible by any computing device through an Internet connection. While most of the course will be asynchronous, opportunities will be presented for synchronous digital chat. In addition to posing questions and providing guidance on the discussion boards and through the video lectures, the professor will be available throughout the course by e-mail, telephone, in-person at New England Law Boston, and/or via Skype. Grading will be based on participation in the forums (including a qualitative component), performance on quizzes, and a final "open-book" examination.

  • Recommended Course

    Business Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the similarities and differences among various types of business organizations (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies). Important issues studied include organization and formation requirements; roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities of persons acting on behalf of the business organization and/or owning the business organization; the procedures and most frequent grounds for litigation involving business organizations; corporate social responsibility; and a brief introduction to the law of securities regulation and corporate control.

  • Recommended Course

    Family Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Surveys many legal problems of the family. Students taking this course will learn about the effect of the constitution on reproductive activity and family formation and structure. They also will learn about procedures for family dissolution, custody, and support, regardless of whether there has been a marriage or not. In addition, students will learn about the various ways in which members of families can use contracts to create their own relations and the settings in which the state does not permit self-determination. Finally, the course explores the lawyer's role in family counseling and litigation. One or more written exercises are sometimes required during the course, in addition to a final examination.

  • Core Course

    Personal Income Tax

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course covers the Internal Revenue Code provisions applicable to the tax treatment of individual taxpayers. Students also will study tax policy, case law, and the tax doctrines and principles applicable to the determination of an individual's taxable income. This course provides the basic structure for understanding and interpreting the Internal Revenue Code, and serves as a foundation for upper-level tax and business-related law school courses.

    Areas of coverage includes: gross income; the tax consequences of property transactions; property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance; scholarships, prizes, and awards; life insurance and annuities; discharge of indebtedness; personal injury damages; fringe benefits; divorce; and deductions related to a trade or business or profit-seeking activity.

    When offered as a distance-learning course, there will be required weekly readings from the casebook and online statutory and regulatory sources, regular mini-lectures on prerecorded video accompanied by PowerPoint slides, discussion forums to which students must make posts each week, and weekly quizzes. All course material other than the casebook will be accessible by any computing device through an Internet connection. While most of the course will be asynchronous, opportunities will be presented for synchronous digital chat. In addition to posing questions and providing guidance on the discussion boards and through the video lectures, the professor will be available throughout the course by e-mail, conference call, or live chat. Grading will be based on participation in the forums (including a qualitative component), performance on quizzes, and a final "open-book" examination.

  • Core Course

    Wills, Estates, and Trusts II

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course is an advanced treatment of topics introduced in the Wills, Estates, and Trusts course, as a well as an overview of many of the tax issues arising in a trusts and estates practice. It covers such topics as fiduciary administration of trusts, remedies for trustee malfeasance, trust construction, and powers of appointment. Certain income tax concepts relating to trusts and estates practice will be addressed, and the course may include a brief overview of the federal transfer taxes.

  • Recommended Course

    Law and the Elderly

    2 or 3 Credit (Elective)

    This class presents a broad overview of the legal and policy questions relating to aging individuals and an older society. As our elderly population continues to grow faster than the population as a whole, the legal profession must be prepared to address the wide range of legal issues that particularly affect the elderly. Topics that are explored include how the elderly live when they retire and their income drops, health-care options and access to care, housing alternatives when a person ages and becomes frail, and long-term care policies. Students also study health-care decision making, planning for incapacity, legal considerations when individuals can no longer make decisions for themselves, and elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. This course involves frequent use of simulations, and problem-solving extrapolated from actual situations encountered by elderly clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Other Course

    Accounting for Lawyers

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Designed to give students a familiarity with accounting and business theory and terminology. Heavy emphasis is placed on planning and analyzing various business transactions from an accounting and legal perspective using financial data and incorporating tax implications. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Core Course

    Estate Planning

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Covers both estate planning for smaller estates and tax-oriented estate planning. After a consideration of planning techniques for the smaller estate, basic concepts of federal estate and gift taxation are introduced through the study of relevant estate and gift tax code sections and regulations. Thereafter, the course considers various problems involved in planning for the preservation and disposition of wealth. Among the tools studied are wills, revocable and irrevocable inter vivos trusts, and various gifting techniques. Careful analysis is given to the impact of estate, gift, and income tax laws on the disposition of property under different types of plans. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Recommended Course

    Taxation of Business Entities

    4 Credit (Elective)

    This course covers the federal tax treatment of the four main business entity forms. Students will study and learn the tax provisions and tax principles that provide for double tax treatment of C corporations and single-level tax treatment of S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Emphasis will be on issues related to the formation, operation, and liquidation of those business entities. This course is intended for students with an interest in a business law practice, for students who have a strong interest in tax law, as well as for students who are interested in specializing in tax law.

  • Other Course

    Law Practice Management

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Law Practice Management teaches students how to set up and run a small law firm or a solo practice; however, the skills and lessons learned in the class are transferable to any law practice, large or small. The class focuses on what is needed to launch your practice, how to generate business, how to establish a fee structure, how to actually handle the substantive work, how to manage clients, how to deal with opposing counsel, and how to fire a client. The class also discusses law firm economics, which is critical to understand, whether you are hanging your own shingle or working for someone else. Ethical considerations and malpractice traps in the context of the day-to-day practice of law are weekly themes. Additional elements of a law practice that are examined include 1) forming a business plan; 2) incorporation/partnership, employment/independent contracts; 3) insurance; 4) tax liabilities, annual and other filings and deposits, IOLTA; 5) space; 6) equipment; 7) management; 8) rainmaking and networking; 9) computer software; 10) banking: client funds, trust accounts, operating accounts, conveyancing accounts, IOLTA requirements; and 11) marketing and advertising. Former and current practitioners are guest lecturers, and in the past, they have included a disbarred lawyer to speak of his ethical missteps, bar counsel from the Office of Bar Counsel, a panel of seasoned practitioners, representatives from LOMAP and LCL. The course also involves a "shadowing" program, where students are matched with local practitioners based upon substantive law and geography. Each student meets with a local practitioner to discuss his or her practice and start to build the student's network. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Other Course

    Mediation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Students are introduced to the principles of conflict resolution through the mediation process and through evolving mediation hybrids, including learning about the legal, ethical, sociological, and procedural aspects of mediation through a series of simulated exercises. Students participate directly in simulations drawn from many areas involving conflict, such as family law, trusts and estates, land use and real estate, business, sports law, construction, entertainment, and employment. During the second half of the course, the focus is on the role of lawyers in the mediation process and the skills needed to be an effective and appropriate advocate in resolving disputes for clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.