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Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Certificate Program Details

Penn Foster’s online Real Estate Law, Wills, & Estates Certificate program is designed for personal enrichment and to teach foundational skills that practicing paralegals can use to take on additional responsibilities in matters involving real estate, wills, and estate administration.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Certificate program teaches the skills practicing paralegals need to take on additional responsibilities in matters involving real estate, wills, and estate administration.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Describe the various types of property interests involved in real estate transactions and the roles and obligations of different players in those transactions
  • Identify critical contract terms and conditions; understand and properly complete contract forms; draft and interpret deeds and leases
  • Understand statutes that relate to wills and estates and the role of assistant to the personal representative in the performance of estate administration duties
  • Draft a preliminary will that's free from errors of construction, and prepare preliminary drafts of the various kinds of trusts, for the supervising attorney's review
  • Apply the procedures and prepare the legal forms used in probate for a set of facts involving a decedent's estate
  • Understand the procedures and legal forms for creating an estate plan incorporating tax-saving devices to reduce or eliminate death taxes and identify ethical employment responsibilities of practicing paralegals in the field of wills, trusts, and estate administration

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

The real estate industry — real estate development, construction, sales, leases, and financing—generates a great deal of work for law firms. Paralegals often work with real estate law, and this course is designed to teach you the basics. Real estate law varies some from state to state, but most of the principles are the same in all states.


  • Understand the types, content, and preparation of deeds.
  • Understand how real estate is described in deeds.
  • Define and give examples of encumbrances, easements, and licenses.
  • Describe some of the ways government regulates the use of real estate.
  • Describe the components of a real estate purchase contract and the real estate closing process.
  • Explain the role of lawyers and paralegals in the process of real estate financing.
  • List the provisions of a standard lease and explain their purpose.
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Practical Real Estate Law, Fifth Edition, by Daniel F. Hinkel

Paralegals often handle matters dealing with wills, trusts, and/or estate administration.


  • Understand statutes and statutory language pertaining to wills and estates.
  • Draft a preliminary will for the supervising attorney’s review.
  • Prepare preliminary drafts of the various kinds of trusts.
  • Prepare legal forms to create an estate plan.
  • Apply the procedures and prepare the legal forms used in probate and estate administration.
  • Prepare the tax returns of a decedent’s estate.
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Wills, Trusts, and Estate Administration for the Paralegal, Fifth Edition, by Dennis R. Hower

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Discussion Boards
Discussion Boards
With Penn Foster Career School, you are never alone! Our learning platform includes discussion boards so you can connect with instructors and other students in the Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates program.

Sample Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates course would look like.
Sample Paralegal: Real Estate, Wills, and Estates Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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