There are many reasons to draft or update a will, but estate planning is particularly important where one has been involved in more than one relationship or marriage, and also to help limit the tax impact on your estate.
A will is a written instrument containing directions on how the assets of the person making the will shall be divided on his/her death. The will must be executed in accordance with the laws of the country in which the person making the will resides.
Why is it important to have a will?
If a person dies without leaving a will, or if the will is not valid for any reason, the beneficiaries will be determined according to legislation - the Law of Intestate Succession. Essentially, the law determines who the closest blood relatives are and distributes the assets in terms of this.
Each situation will be different, but the important point to note is that a family member you may never have chosen to inherit from you could end up with all your assets. In addition, if you live with someone, but aren't married to the person, the law will not recognise your so-called 'common-law spouse' as the beneficiary of your estate if you haven't left a will naming them as beneficiary.
By drafting a will and planning for the future of your estate you ensure that
Keep the wording as plain as possible
When referring to a person, use their full name and a short description - for example, my nephew, John Adams
Avoid using vague terms, such as 'cash'
Ensure that you understand each clause in the drafted document and that will reflects your wishes
Make sure that your will reflects your current situation at all times
If the will is complicated, rather have a person with expertise revise it