If you had millions of dollars and had to write your will, how would you do it? These very rich and highly eccentric people bequethed their assets in some very unusual ways…
10. Trouble the Millionaire Mutt
Leona Helmsley, New York hotelier and the notorious “Queen of Mean”, died of heart failure in the summer of 2007 at the ripe old age of 87. Being a rather successful business woman she had amassed quite a large fortune over her lifetime; her family was bound to be well cared for. However, Helmsley had other plans and turned her back on relatives to bequeath the bulk of her estate, $12 million, to her Maltese dog, named Trouble.
Later a judge reduced the enormous $12 trust fund left to Trouble, to a paltry $2 million after the dogs caretaker stated it would be enough to keep the dog in luxury for the rest of his life. In death, Helmsley earned her nickname, the “Queen of Mean,” cutting off her grandchildren and leaving a trust fund to the cherished pet.
9. See you at Dinner
Bonkers John Bowman, who lost both his wife and 2 daughters, was convinced that after he died the whole family would be reincarnated together. After his death in the late 1800’s, while he awaited his reincarnation, a $50,000 trust fund was left to maintain his mansion and a mausoleum containing not only his own earthly remains, but the remains of his wife and daughters also. Additionally the Will instructed the house staff of the mansion to prepare dinner every night just in case the hungry reincarnated Bowmans decided to pop home for dinner.
This was carried out every night until 1950 until the trust fund was dry.
8. No Women Aloud
Attorney and noted Woman-hater T.M. Zink died in 1930, but he wasn’t about to get any nicer in death.
In his Will, he stated he hated women and that his wish for his life savings was to be used in building a library that would carry no works written by female authors and wouldn’t allow any female members. But first, he wanted his $35,000 to be placed into a trust for 75 years and the accumulated sum after 75 years of interest (roughly $3 million in 2005) to be used to build the Zink’s Womanless Library (yes, that is the actual name) and every entrance would bear a sign with the words “No Women Allowed”. His daughter, who was left only $5 in his will, fought her father’s will and succeeded. The library was never built.
7. From Rubber to Riches
When Onni Nurmi died he wanted to do something nice for the old people in a community.
The Finnish business man left the dividends from 780 shares in a company that manufactured and sold rubber boots to the residents of a nursing home. At the time the rubber boots manufacturer was a little known company called Nokia. When Nokia moved into the telecommunications industry in the 1970’s the rapidly expanding company caused the shares to rocket in value and made the elderly residents millionaires. Enjoy your retirement ladies and gentlemen.
6. The Soul Beneficiary
Spiritual hermit and miner from Arizona, James Kidd went missing in 1949 and was legally declared dead in 1956. His will was found in 1963 and he requested that his $275,000 estate should be used to research and scientifically proof the existence of a human soul. In 1971, the money was awarded to the American Society for Psychical Research in New York City.
To date they not yet found that elusive soul.
5. Give Him Enough Rope
As a result had a turbulent marriage, Mary Kuhery’s life was made miserable. But, she was determined to get her own back, even if it had to wait until her death. When she died, the money was in her side and therefore the means to get her sweet revenge. She left her husband a whopping $2, with the stipulation that he spends half of it on a rope to hang himself with.
4. Little Drummer Boy
Though he didn’t have much money to leave behind, this man did have his body to bequeth in is will. Hat-maker S. Sandborn, died in 1871 donating his body to science, more specifically to the professor of the Harvard Medical School. But, there were some rather bizarre stipulations attached to his kind scientific donation. He wanted two drums to be made out of his skin and given to his friend Warren Simpson so that he could drum the tune to “Yankee Doodle” every year on June 17th.
3. Rodent Riches
When Abdel Nahas’ much-loved pet mouse died in 1978 he had it mummified so they never had to be apart. When Abdel died a year later in 1979, he left the mummified mouse a $2 million fortune in his will.
2. A Will From the Bottle
This next will goes to show that money and a fondness for alcohol of any kind is a dangerous combination, an entertaining one at that. Memphis resident E.J. Halley spent his life worshiping the bottle and when his will was read after his death in 2010 it was apparent that life at the bottom of a glass had not been kind to him. Mr. Halley left all his money to the various people who had been kind to him during the course of his life.
He left $5,000 to both a hospital cook who took the snakes (imaginary) out of his broth and a nurse who scared the pink monkey out of his bed.
1. Baby Boom
Charles Vance Millar, prankster and lover of social experiments, had one trick left up his sleeve after his death at the age of 73. He knew that every man and woman, no matter their self imposed morals or beliefs, had their price and with his will he was going to prove it.
He stated that his money and estate should be invested for 9 years and on the 10th year be given to the woman in Toronto who had the most babies in that time. Manic mating ensued between man and women everywhere; babies were popping out all over the place. The press dubbed the fornication frenzy as ‘The Great Stork Derby’. The race ended in a 4-way tie, with each of the 4 women demonstrated 9 registered live births each of them receiving $125,000, which was quite handy as they had a lot of mouths to feed.