A well-thought-out estate plan includes time for reflection of various aspects of life before anything is put on paper. While the simple "all to spouse and then to children" plan has some merits, it is not the only way.
Certain critical questions are appropriate to answer as part of the process:
What will be the effect of the inheritance on your children? On their marriages? On their families?
Do you treat them equally or fairly?
How much do you tell your children about your decisions?
Could you give them a say in their financial inheritance?
Considering your children's accomplishments in life, what other options are appropriate for using a portion of your estate's funds to benefit society?
What personal values and principles guide you in your decisions?
Making future plans that provide for family and for favorite nonprofit organizations that are improving our society is an art, not a science. There are no 100 percent right or wrong answers because circumstances will change in the future. Providing the best overall plan does involve thought and consideration of the impact of financial choices made now and later.