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How bout it?Anyone written the 'sibs out of the estate, or at least spread it around a little bit more?

I am working thru these issues with my estate plan right now. I don't have children but do have many siblings and nieces & nephews. There are also step nephews & great nieces & nephews to consider.

Most of the plan is to make sure that my account & policy beneficiaries are updated. My estate is a lot simpler than most in that I don't own real estate or much other tangible real property. There is some family keepsakes that I want to account for. But the issue of making unequal -- or no -- bequests to the siblings has come up. It hasn't been a very comfortable situation to think thru. I have included much larger shares to my unmarried/no kids sibs than the others. They also happen to have the most precarious financial situations (little retirement savings or support systems in place). The rest goes to a few of the next generation but not all of them. Mainly just the ones who are especially close. I also have a couple amazing special cousins that I plan to pass some family keepsakes to for their kids (their moms gave me these things).

I would like to find a way to acknowledge some particularly special friends in my estate but am not sure how to do that. I plan to have a niece be the executor/PR and unfortunately her parent (my sib) was someone who didn't respect either the intent or the stated wishes of a deceased family member and was very ugly about the whole thing. So I am not sure how to benefit some non-family members in a plan when that sib may have some influence on the niece. I have always assumed that trusts were made to protect things like this but it seems I don't have so much to make a trust. Also I've seen trusts where the trustee had so much leeway that they just did whatever they wanted with the assests after the establisher died.
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