Course Description

This course introduces the vast area of law governing wills, trusts, and estate planning, with a focus on pre-death considerations. It emphasizes practical applications for paralegals and exposes students to forms and procedures actually used in a law office. Topics include the following:

  • Validity requirements for estate planning documents
  • Simple document drafting
  • Basic estate planning
  • Conservatorship administration
  • Durable power of attorney administration

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the components of a "minimally sufficient" will
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of titles to assets, such as an asset held in joint tenancy with another person
  • Explain reasons an estate planning client would want to avoid a probate administration of their estate
  • Describe and apply the characteristics of a valid will


Fundamentals of Paralegal Studies or consent of program director


Certification Disclosure: In California an individual may qualify to hold one’s self out as a paralegal in one of several ways including earning a certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §6450(c)(1).) The Paralegal Professional Certificate program offered by UCSB PaCe satisfies the requirements of California law in this regard.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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Jan 08, 2024 to Mar 22, 2024
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (3 units) $575.00
Available for Credit
3 units
Section Notes

One business day after enrollment but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.

Students are required to purchase the following textbook(s) prior to the first class meeting:

Basic Wills, Trusts, and Estates for Paralegals, Ninth Edition, by Jeffrey A. Helewitz, ISBN: 978-1-5438-4764-2

Please order textbooks from the bookseller of your choice. Be sure to order the correct ISBN and textbook edition.