Death is something that awaits all of us. As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you when you die.” That is why most people do their last will, leaving their wealth to their relatives. But this is not always true: some people choose to leave their money and belongings with their pets and even strangers.
We’ve put together a list of the strangest wills and testaments around. Some of these wills are scary and others are brilliant. But either way, they are all unique. Prepare to be amazed!
Unusual Last Wills in History
10. Comics Book Containing The Ashes Of Its Creator
The late Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald, who had a huge impact on the Captain America and Iron Man comics, loved his job. He loved it so much that he wanted to remain part of the Marvel universe even after his death. In his last will, Mark asked to publish a comic book containing his ashes.
9. The Star Trek Creator That Went “Where No Man Has Gone Before”
Not surprisingly, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of one of the most iconic comic sagas of all time, was a huge fan of space.
However, what is surprising is the fact that Gene was the first man in history to be buried in space. But what else would you expect from the father of Star Trek?
8. Shakespeare Left Only His Second-best Bed For His Wife
William Shakespeare, known the world over as one of the most romantic playwrights of all time, ended up not being as romantic in real life.
In his last will, he left only his “second favorite bed” to his beloved wife, Anne Hathaway. The majority of his wealth went to his daughter.
7. The Dead Dinner Will
John Bowman, a wealthy gentleman from Vermont, strongly believed in the afterlife. Unfortunately, he lost his wife and two daughters during his life.
But John was convinced that, after his death, he would be reunited with his family, something we all hope for after we die. But Bowman took a step forward.
In his last will, John Bowman provided a $ 50,000 trust fund, created to maintain his 21-room mansion, and ensure that dinner was served every night, just in case John and his family showed up one day and felt hungry. The dead man’s will was carried out until 1950.
6. Drums Made Out Of A Dead Man’s Skin
S. Sanborn, an American hat maker, lived an ordinary life. So when he died in 1871, he surprised everyone who knew him. In his last will, Sanborn asked his friends to make two drums using the skin as a membrane.
Those drums were brought to Bunker Hill every June 17, where “Yankee Doodle” had to be played on drums as a celebration of the famous Revolutionary War battle’s anniversary.
5. A Spiritual Séance For Harry Houdini
In his last years, the famous magician and escape master Houdini has gone mad at the idea of an afterlife. Harry made a promise to his wife, Bess, to contact her after he was dead.
For this purpose, Houdini created a secret message that only she knew. In his last will, the magician also stipulated that each anniversary of his death must be accompanied by a spiritual séance.
4. The Longest Will In History
Frederica Stilwell Cook is known as the author of the longest will in history. She died in 1925 and left a will that contained 1066 pages with 95,940 words. For comparison sake, Hemingway’s iconic novel The Old Man and the Sea is eight times smaller.
3. The Millionaire Dog
Leona Helmsley, the notorious “Queen of Mean”, was a great lover of dogs. When she died in 2007, she left around $ 12 million to her Maltese dog, Trouble.
Leona was not the first person to bequeath her wealth to a pet, but hers was the most massive, making Trouble one of the richest dogs of all time.
2. At Least One Man Will Regret Heinrich Heine’s Death
Heinrich Heine, a poet from Germany, left his widow Mathilde with all his money on one condition: she could only inherit it if she remarried. Heinrich explained his strange stipulation by saying, “Because then, at least one man will regret my death.”
1. A Legacy Of Bitterness
Wellington Burt, a magnate from Michigan, died in 1919, leaving a very unusual will. He stipulated that his enormous wealth would be inherited by his descendants only 21 years after the death of his last grandchild. Why Wellington left such a strange request is a mystery.
Burt’s last surviving grandson died in 1989. 21 years later, in 2011, 12 distant relatives of the eccentric merchant were finally paid. Each received around $ 110 million.
Which of these wills surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!