A Will is a formal document and it is intended for serious affairs. But this hasn’t prevented people from toying with its seriousness in the past. They’ve used the Will essentially for the same purpose, to list down their last wishes, but it’s just that their wishes were slightly different.
In a country, where fewer than half of adults haven’t written their own Will, this article should get them acquainted with a different type of Will power, the power of the Will to execute the strangest of human wishes. Here we list the final wishes of those for whom the temptation to cause some mischief was too much to resist.
Jack Benny, the legendary US comedian left behind quite a touching instruction in his Will. He made provisions for a long stemmed rose to be delivered each day to his wife after his death.
Clearing National Debt
In 1928, an anonymous donation worth a half million pound was made to the Britain government to clear national debt. As of today, the worth of this donation stands at £350 million but nobody has really benefitted from it. The reason why this money hasn’t been touched is a very specific instruction which allowed the British government to spend the money only when it was sufficient enough to clear the national debt. The national debt of UK is somewhere close to £1.5 trillion and so the money never got used for the purpose.
To Raise a Toast
Most of us secretly wish that our friends raise a drink remembering us after we are gone. But Roger Brown did not want to leave behind any loose ends regarding this. So, he included a secret bequest in his Will and gifted seven of his closest friends, a sum of £3,500 to have a boozy weekend. His friends made an apology to Brown’s children for taking away a part of their legacy but also assured them that they had spent most of it on beer and only wasted a few pounds of it on other stuff.
Here, Have a Bed
Britain’s legendary playwright, William Shakespeare snubbed his wife from the grave by leaving behind for her, his second best bed. He gave away most of his estate to his daughter Susanna. However, you shouldn’t take any ideas from this incident when writing your own Will. If you decide to leave behind only one furniture item to your wife in today’s time, she can easily challenge the Will in court with this plea that sufficient financial provisions haven’t been made for her.
Wife for Gay son
Frank Mandelbaum left behind for his grandchildren a £180,000 trust fund. However, this inheritance would be theirs only if a unique condition was met. He said that his grandchildren would only inherit if their father Robert would marry their mother within six months of birth. Sounds simple enough right? But it isn’t because Robert is gay and was already raising his son with his husband at the time. In the present times, such a Will cannot be upheld as the beneficiary can easily prove in court that the condition for inheritance is something that is beyond their control.
Legacy for Dogs
Leona Helmsley, a billionaire hotelier left behind an unusual Will. In it she stated that her legacy worth £2.5 billion should be spent caring for her dogs. She had earlier considered leaving behind the money to charity but is known to have changed her mind later on. She had left behind an inheritance of £8 million for her Maltese, Trouble. This inheritance was later reduced to £1.2 million by a judge. Trouble still had to go into hiding as the world’s wealthiest dog had received numerous kidnap and death threats.
If you dislike your relatives you could perhaps seek some inspiration from the Michigan Millionaire Wellington Burt. He used his Will to ensure that no relative of his could inherit a dollar of his earned wealth until 21 years had passed since the death of his last surviving grandchild. The 21 year countdown finally ended in 2010 when 12 people became the beneficiaries of a legacy estimated to be around $110million.
While it would be a great idea to include something so imaginative in your Will, it is better to be on the safer side. Including such a wish in the Will puts it at a risk of being invalidated. The important thing to be remembered here is that it is necessary for every individual to write a Will, whether it is by using a free Will template or by hiring the services of a lawyer.