Spivack and Sneddon's Developing Professional Skills: Wills, Trusts & Estates

West Academic Publishing
Primary Subject
Trusts And Estates
Developing Professional Skill
Publication Date
eBook - Lifetime digital access to the eBook, with the ability to highlight and take notes.


The Trusts & Estates book in the Developing Professional Skills series facilitates the incorporation of a wide range of practical legal skills into the trusts and estates classroom to promote student learning. Each assignment draws upon key doctrinal concepts, such as donative freedom, intestacy, will execution and revocation, construction, trust creation & revocation, fiduciary duties, prenuptial agreements, will substitutes, charitable giving, and guardianship. It also seeks to give students a footing in some of the more basic tasks an estate planning attorney would perform, such as explaining succession law to non-lawyers, planning to avoid will contests, locating intestate heirs, etc. Students have the opportunity to develop and refine the following skills in the context of estate planning:
  • Composing legal letters and professional emails
  • Writing court petitions, interrogatories, and charitable gift agreements
  • Developing counseling plans and best practices guidance
  • Conducting a negotiation
  • Engaging in client counseling
  • Creating community presentations

Secondarily, this book also incorporates social issues that are inherent in the study and practice of estate planning. These issues revolve around the role of estate planning and succession law in perpetuating wealth inequality. Many of the assignments touch upon these issues; it is of course up to the professor how much to draw them out and emphasize them. Each assignment is complete and effective even without emphasis on these issues. However, they add a worthwhile dimension to the book.