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Module Title

Proof Of Death, Intestate And Testate Succession, Wills, Vesting, Executry Administration, Restraints on Testamentary Freedom.

SCQF Points15
ECTS Points7.5
CreatedMay 2002
ApprovedDecember 2012
AmendedAugust 2013
Version No.3

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

None, in addition to SCQF entry requirement or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

To enable the student to analyse, synthesise and evaluate the theories and techniques relating to the law of succession.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Consider and analyse the main principles of the law of succession.
2. Critically evaluate and analyse the legal consequences of death and the distribution of the estate of the deceased.

3. Apply the principles of the law relating to the distribution of a deceased's estate to practical situations.

4. Explain and analyse the concept of a trust and how one is created and terminated.

Indicative Module Content

This module will cover the law of succession namely; proof of death and survivorship; entitlement to inherit; payment of debts; intestate succession; testate succession; will substitutes; formal validity of wills; revocation of wills; essential validity of wills; restraints on testamentary freedom; vesting; executry administration; private international law aspcts; creation, termination, nature, operation and validity of trusts.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full TimePart Time
Online activities

Directed Study

Directed Study

Private Study

Private Study

Mode of Delivery

This is a lecture and tutorial based module. Lectures provide core module content. Tutorials develop associated higher level skills through student centred learning.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 1,2,3
Component 2 1,2,3,4

Component 2 - Examination worth 70% of the overall module grade.

Component 1 - Written coursework exercise worth 30% of the overall module grade.

Indicative Bibliography

1.BARR, A.R. 2009. Drafting wills in Scotland. 2nd ed. London: Tottel.
2.GIBB, A., 2012. Succession. 3rd Ed. Edinburgh: W. Green. (Law Basics series)
3.GRETTON, G., 2013. Property, trusts and succession. 2nd ed. Haywards Heath: Bloomsbury Professional.
4.HIRAM, H., 2007. The Scots law of succession. 2nd ed. London: Butterworths LexisNexis.
5.MACDONALD, D.R., 2001. Succession. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: W Green.
6.MCCARTHY, F., 2013. Succession law. Dundee: Dundee University Press.
7.NORRIE, K., and SCOBBIE, E., 1991. Trusts. Edinburgh: W. Green.
8.WILSON, W.A. and DUNCAN, A.G.M., 1995. Trusts, trustees and executors. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: W. Green and Scottish Universities Law Institute.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781