Welcome to Lawshelf’s video-course on wills. This course covers the device that allows people to transfer assets after death, an exception to the general rule that gifts can only be given by living people.

This is an introductory level course and no prior knowledge of law or criminal law is required. It is also a strongly recommended course for anyone considering further study in elder law and estate planning.

The course starts with a description of what a will is, when it is effective and why it is important. We’ll look at the law governing wills, including various state laws and the Uniform Probate Code. We’ll also look at what happens to an estate when there is no will, which is governed by the rules of intestacy.

Then, we’ll look at various types of wills and their roles. We’ll also cover the requirements for a valid will, including testamentary intent, capacity and the execution requirements to ensure validity. Finally in module 2, we’ll look at grounds for invalidating a will, such as fraud and undue influence.

In module 3, we’ll turn to looking at the ways wills can dispose of property. We’ll discuss the differences between real and personal property and non-probate property that wills do not affect at all. We’ll also learn about the different types of will transfers and the rules of ademption, abatement and lapse.

In module 4, we’ll discuss the roles of the fiduciaries, who are in charge of administering wills. We’ll discuss how executors and trustees get appointed and their powers and responsibilities. We’ll also look at guardians for minor children and guardian ad litems.

In our last module, we’ll focus on testamentary trusts, which are trusts set up by wills. We’ll look at various types of testamentary trusts and their roles in estate planning. We’ll also discuss how they are administered after death.

This course is a fundamental course in estate planning and when you complete it, we hope you’ll go on and take advantage of our courses in trust drafting and other estate planning areas.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback!

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

How long will it take me to complete a video-course?

Between watching the modules, doing the self-test practice questions, reviewing the material and taking the final exam, we estimate that completing a video-course requires a time investment of 4-5 hours.  The courses are designed to get straight to the point. We’re cognizant that your time is valuable, and we condense the information you need to know to comprehensively cover a subject into as little time as practical.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Wills and Provisions - Module 1 of 5

Requirements for a Valid Will - Module 2 of 5

Transfer of Property by Will - Module 3 of 5

Fiduciaries - Module 4 of 5

Creditors, Testamentary Trusts, and Tax Issues - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.