When it comes to estate planning, many people do not have extended family members. They may not have children or grandchildren or for that fact they may not have any siblings, nieces, nephews, parents or grandparents. We have referred to this sometimes as a very dead-end family. When setting up an estate plan you need to be prepared for what is strangely called the “wipe out” provision. The wipe out provision is the final provision within your will or your trust that says if none of the individuals that you have left money to survive me then you leave it to the following. That final distribution could then be a friend or a charity. Think of this as the worst case scenario of what would happen if you survived all of your beneficiaries. In many situations the wipe out provision is a good place to put charities that you support during your lifetime. Unfortunately, it's something that has happened to many families over the course of time and ultimately we do not want to leave the decisions up to the probate court as to where your funds should be distributed. It would be sad if your funds were distributed to a fourth cousin on your mother’s side that you never met versus going to a local nonprofit that benefits your community.
Goudy Bookletter 1911