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

Not offered this quarter. Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.