At the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, A Texas Estate Planning Attorney asked Warren Buffett a question about Estate Planning. Not about how to avoid the estate tax, or avoid probate. Rather it was about his famous quote that he wanted to give his children enough that they could not anything, but not so much that they would do nothing. How much is that exactly? Is there are magic number? The real answer is of course not. It is a great quote however. It also is based on a bad assumption that was rebutted by Buffett, as quoted in a Canadian paper:
Estate Planning is is a process of organizing assets in contemplation of either death or incapacity. It is important to know what the major things are that a person if planning for. The obvious issues for many educated people tends to be probate and estate taxes. Making sure this is addressed should be a major priority.
It is common for Estate Planning to have a wide array of general provisions, where the Trustee is supposed to have both general instructions (like pay taxes, distribute to heirs) while also being provided with some wide latitude (oil and gas powers, margin authority on brokerage accounts).
Being disinherited is sometimes a tremendous shock. Sometimes, people see it coming. It is not uncommon at all for people to know they have been "disowned" and "disinherited" because they have been told as much by the decedent before death. This is almost never about the money. Many people who do will contests or trust contests have plenty of money. It is about dignity, about the right thing, about maintaining the legitimate legacy of a father or a mother. It is about justice.
Summer is coming, your employment ranks may swell, at least temporarily. College students, your friend's nephews, nieces, distant relatives of your customers and clients as well as assorted others from a formal program that has been set up by an organization is offering you the opportunity to get free labor. Or maybe it would be a good idea to not think of it that way.