Estate planning begins with the application of a marital regime – parties whose marriage ends in the death of a spouse must be advised that it is the marital regime which is considered prior to the last will and testament being read and the estate distributed in accordance with the will or in terms of the prescript of intestate succession.

Further, thought must be given to the location of assets: one need not have only one will. If assets are spread across different countries this could imply that different rules are applicable (eg. Pflichtteil in German Law, which is foreign to SA Law).

When drafting a will one should also cater for the well-being of minor children by securing funds in testamentary trusts. One may also express wishes as to who the guardians of minor children should be, should the parents both predecessor such children.