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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

National Paralegal College | Evaluated Learning Experience

Wills, Trusts, and Estates (PLG-106)


Varies; self-study format.

Various, distance learning format.
January 2008 - Present.
Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to: identify rules of intestacy and apply them to a fact pattern; outline the basic structure of the federal and state gift and estate tax system; assist in the preparation of an estate plan for a hypothetical client; assist in the drafting of a will, including various testamentary trusts that may be appropriate for a hypothetical client's situation; draft various provisions in wills and explain their significance; determine which beneficiaries are entitled to which assets, based on reading provisions of a will; explain the purpose and effect of credit shelter trusts, qualified terminable interests in property, qualified domestic trusts, individual single beneficiary trusts, etc.; identify and apply various rule regarding will execution; assist in the preparation and filing of a probate process; assist in the drafting of a variety of trusts; explain the forms and functions of various types of trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, irrevocable life insurance trusts, etc.; outline the benefits of charitable trusts; evaluate whether a charitable trust is beneficial for a hypothetical client; outline the features of various types of charitable trusts and appropriate usage; and identify and apply basic rules that govern trust administration, including the rights and responsibilities of the trustee.


This course familiarizes students with a practical understanding of the laws of estate planning. Students learn how the federal estate tax system works and what to consider when doing estate planning. Topics include: federal estate and gift taxation; various estate planning techniques; proper use of trusts; life insurance as an estate planning tool; gifts; charitable transfers; intra-family business and property transfers; and planning for incapacity. Students  learn appropriate procedures relevant to drafting and interpreting will and trust documents and become familiar with the initial planning and preparation necessary for a comprehensive estate plan. Class discussion focuses on: techniques for drafting estate planning documents; estate administration; probate practice; closing of an estate; relevant gift tax laws; role of the probate courts in estate planning; and basic inheritance. Evaluation criteria include: required readings, essay assignments, class participation, and final exam.

Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Wills, Trusts, and Estates, Estate Planning, or Legal Studies (1/13) (3/18 revalidation) (5/23 revalidation).