Some of the most unusual stipulations in wills have to do with pets inheriting an entire estate, how someone’s body will be handled after death (cremation or burial would both be too ordinary for some), and, in some sad cases, children or grandchildren being “cut out of the will.”
Probate attorneys have seen their fair share of unusual last wishes. Here are some of the strangest bequests left via a last will and testament:
Harry Houdini – requested that a séance be held every year on the anniversary of this death so he could communicate with his wife from the great beyond.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry – asked for his ashes to be scattered in space.
Napoleon Bonaparte – left instructions in his will for his head to be shaved after he died and for his hair to be distributed among his friends.
Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald – asked for his ashes to be mixed with comic book ink and used to print comic books.
Eccentric Vermont Millionaire John Bowman – Bowman died in 1891, having outlived his wife and two daughters. As a believer in reincarnation, Bowman made provisions in his will for his mansion to be maintained and for dinner to be served every evening in case the family came back. The money ran out in 1950, and the family never came back.
The Flanigan Law Group provides estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. For more information on California wills and probate, contact our Irvine law firm at 949-450-0041.