I Leave My Estate to My Brother as Long as He Buries Me in My Ferrari

A Will is an essential document for making sure that a person’s requests upon their death are honored and their estate is distributed according to their wishes. Most Wills are very straightforward and divide up assets between family and friends. But often times, rich and famous folks like to shake things up a bit and make some pretty bizarre requests. 

Check out some of the strange, fascinating and downright weird wishes and ideas that people have included in their Wills. 

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE – One month before he died, he created a Will leaving almost his entire estate to his daughter, Susanna, with the provision that when she died, she would pass the fortune to her first-born son. He also created a separate request tacked on to the end of the Will leaving his, “second best bed” to his wife Anne. We are left to wonder who received the best bed? 

NAPOLEAN BONAPARTE- He requested that upon his death, his head was to be shaved and his hair was to be distributed among his family and friends. His wish was fulfilled, and large amounts of arsenic were found in his hair confirming suspicions that he may have been poisoned. 

GENE RODENBERRY- The creator of Star Trek had a last wish to “boldly go where no man has gone before”. His Will requested that his ashes be scattered in space. His wish was fulfilled in 1997 when his ashes were sent into space aboard a Pegasus XL rocket. 

CHARLES VANCE MILLER- An attorney by trade with a love for practical jokes, his Will created what would become known as “The Great Stork Derby”. Mr. Miller left a sizeable amount of money to any woman from Toronto who could produce the most children within 10 years after his death. Four women rose to the challenge having nine children each. Each woman received about $125,000. 

SANDRA WEST- The oil heiress and socialite left the bulk of her estate to her brother upon the condition that he bury her in her blue 1964 Ferrari 330 America with the “seat slanted comfortably” and she was to be wearing her lace nightgown. The family complied with her wishes burying her and the car in a large concrete box covered with cement in San Antonio. 

JEREMY BENTHAM- This British philosopher and proponent of animal rights left his entire estate to the London Hospital on the condition that they preserve his remains and allow them to preside over its board meetings. He also left his body to the hospital to be dissected and used to teach medical students anatomy. After fulfilling the request to dissect his body, the hospital coated his skeleton with wax, dressed it in his original clothing and brought it to the hospital board meetings where it sat in attendance for 92 years. 

FRED BAUER- The founder of the Pringles container, requested that he be cremated and buried in a Pringles can. After debating on which flavor to use, his children ultimately decided on the “Original” flavor and complied with his request. 

It is true that some unusual requests can be contested and even set aside. There is a chance that the request is contrary to law or inadvertently risks invalidating the Will entirely. In a situation like this, it is best to seek legal advice to ensure that your wishes are memorialized in a way that avoids emotional and financial fallout. 

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