This is all very heartening, but the problem is that lawsuits and other family conflicts in the wake of a family member's death are almost always about tangible personal property--the deceased person's "stuff". Money is rarely the source of deep conflicts. Money can be divided up. That pipe that grandpa always smoked on the front porch in the summer? Not as much.
It's the emotions and sentimental value that cause the serious intra-family conflicts.
Here are some things that can be done to avoid such conflicts:
1) Talk with your family members about specific keepsakes they may want to have, and reflect those wishes specifically in your will. You might even gift certain items to certain people while you are living, to avoid problems after you're gone. You might also want to discuss the final disposition of something like a family summer home. Many a lawsuit has involved siblings arguing over whether to sell such a property or keep it in the family. Parents might consider discussing the issue with their children individually and as a group, and then telling all the children, in one place at the same time, what the parents are going to do about the property and why.
2) Create a memorandum that disposes of your tangible personal property outside of your will. Through a legal doctrine called "incorporation by reference", if a will refers to a list that the testator may leave behind disposing of certain items to certain people, then that list will be honored, even though the specific gifts aren't made in a will. It's important to note that such a memorandum is not legally binding in New York, although it is in New Jersey. However, hopefully you will have picked someone as executor who you trust to carry out all of your wishes. People may be unhappy with your choices, but they'll be more likely to accept them. Such lists or memorandums should be specific. For example, don't say you leave your diamond necklace to your niece, Jody, if you have three diamond necklaces. Take steps to make it easy to identify what objects you are referring to. Also, keep this memorandum or list with your will and other important papers so your executor can find it.
3) If you have a favorite grandchild or nephew, plan to provide them with a little (or a lot) extra during your lifetime, but treat the members of the same level of family (i.e., all grandchildren) equally in your will.
4) In some cases, especially if family conflict is expected, or if there are, for example, children from a first marriage and children from a second marriage who may not see eye-to-eye on estate-related matters, you might want to consider hiring a professional executor. Talk to your bank or investment/trust institutions about what services they offer in this area.
Thanks for reading! If you would like to discuss any of this further, please feel free to contact me anytime.