Grt2bOutdoors wrote:A will can be contested, so if for any reason you think "jackals" or "hyenas" are going to show up at probate, its best to throw in something along the lines of "for my relatives, xyz, 123, and bobby - a total sum of $15 in equal shares - but include language that basically states if they contest the will, they will not receive what was left for them and if you wish provide a reason as to why they were left a token amount - no sane surrogate court judge is going to disagree with you if you have justification. Nice?, not really, but if your description is fitting and accurate, well....if the shoe fits, wear it.
I would not recommend leaving a nominal bequest to someone you wish to disinherit unless your lawyer recommends doing so. Leaving someone anything, even just a dollar, makes that person into a beneficiary, and beneficiaries have rights. Those rights vary from state to state, but it is possible that a $1 beneficiary would be entitled to notices of probate milestones, private information about the estate's assets, regular accountings, the ability to object to the executor's actions, etc. A beneficiary of a $1 bequest might be able to force the executor to do extra work and delay the distribution of the estate. Plus, the information about the estate's assets can give the $1 beneficiary ammunition to use against your intended beneficiaries.
I second all the recommendations to hire an attorney for an estate of this size. The problem posed by the OP is a common one, and an attorney who specializes in estate planning will know how to address it.