When it comes to estates, treating all the relatives equally is safest. If you do anything else you risk someone getting angry and challenging your wishes. Defending your ideas while you are alive is easy enough, but after you are deceased it gets tougher. So special gifts while you are living could be more appropriate.As to charities, special friends, even pets, I doubt that your heirs would object to modest contributions. Major ones should not be a surprise. Discuss them. Defend them. Make your wishes clear.Family members with special problems can easily be taken care of through trusts. Of course you want well written documents and good choices on who and how they will be administered when individuals are unable to handle their own affairs.In all of this, there is always the problem of who will be around when the event finally happens. Even charities seem to come and go these days. Backups if charity x no longer exists could be a good idea.States have clear laws on who inherits if none of the heirs in your will survive. Those can always be a guide on how to do it if all else fails. But I can see it getting more complicated in a trust.One would hope that an estate without heirs does not end up going to your state's unclaimed property office.
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