To obtain the degree, each student will be required to complete 10 credit hours in required courses and 14 hours in on-ramp and elective courses. Prior to beginning the MS in Elder Law and Estate Planning Degree Program you will be required to complete three On-Ramp Courses listed below.
Introduction to Law
This course is a 12 hour introductory course to be taken prior to the start of the semester. There is no charge for this zero-credit course.
Introduction to the Law is required for all entering MS in Elder Law and Estate Planning students, offered prior to the beginning of the first term, and graded on a pass-fall basis. This class introduces students to the study of law. It is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that will enable them to get the most out of their other courses. Students will gain an understanding of the American legal system, explore the function of case law and how it relates to other sources of the law, and learn to actively engage in case analysis.
Introduction to American Law
This course is survey of select topics in American law for non-lawyers beginning to earn their degree of Master of Science in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Successful completion is required prior to students registering for LLM classes in elder law and estate planning.
While many of the subject areas of law covered in this course are not directly related to elder law and estate planning, some familiarity with these subjects is necessary to enable the student to navigate without being lost at sea. For example, without some understanding of civil procedure, a student might well be confused about just why a case assigned in an LLM course was up on appeal. Subject areas covered in this survey include: Constitutional Law, Tort Law, Property Law, Contract Law, Business Law, Family Law, Civil Procedure, and Administrative Law. The text is technical, but nonetheless suited as an introduction to non-lawyers. 2 credits. Prerequisite: 0 credit Introduction to Law.
The Law of Trusts & Estates
This course is an introduction to the law of trusts and estates for non-lawyers beginning to earn their degree of Master of Science in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Successful completion is required prior to students registering for LLM classes in elder law and estate planning.
Trusts are pervasive in elder law and estate planning, and so a solid understanding is critical to success in the field. The course begins with estates, covering intestacy and the requirements for a valid will such as execution formalities, competence, and lack of duress. The course then discusses will and trust construction issues, such as when a will or trust is ambiguous, and when there are changes in people or property not anticipated by the drafter. We then move into requirements for a valid trust, and the all important uses, properties, and administration of trusts, including such topics as asset protection and powers of appointment. Also covered are non-probate non-trust means of disposing of property at death, including joint tenancy and death beneficiary designations. The text is technical, but nonetheless suited as an introduction to non-lawyers. 2 credits. Prerequisite: 0 credit Introduction to Law.