Wills and Estate Planning

4.17 Strictly For The Laughs-Sample – Some Interesting, Some Hilarious And Some Absurd Wills Around The World

Most wills are left in order to make certain that our financial affairs are taken care of after our death. Some other people have used wills as an avenue to satisfy a craze, a life-long wish or demonstrate how absurd they could be.

4.17.1 One Last Round – on the Estate

Dancer/Director Bob Fosse, left money in his will for a huge party for his friends.

4.17.2 A New Yorker named Douglas McKelvy inherited millions but died a few years later in 1973 at age forty-one. After providing for his children, he left $12,000 to two of his favourite pubs (drinking bars) so that his drinking buddies could imbibe for free after his death. Not surprisingly, the cause of Mckelvy’s untimely demise was liver disease – brought on by heavy drinking.

4.17.3 Tending the Family Tree
Sylvia Wilks of New York died in 1951 leaving almost $100 million, most of it to charity. But she also hired an investigator to find ten distant relatives, and they received $100,000 each – a total surprise, as she’d never called them before her death. Margaret Lacey wrote a will on a roll of wallpaper fifteen feet long.

4.174.2 Agnes Burley, a waitress, wrote her last will on two paper napkins. The estate exceeded $30,000 – including the tip.

4.17.5 Literary Wills Dr. Jekyll’s will left everything to Mr. Hyde. In his will, a man who had been a gas lighter for a Philadelphia theatre for forty-four years, ordered his head removed and prepared so that it could serve as the skull of Yorick in performances of Hamlet there.


One British soldier received from his wife’s family an inter vivos gift (as we would term it today) that gave him an annual payment that would continue as long as she was ‘above ground’. When the literal meaning should prevail over the colloquial, and much to his in laws’ consternation, the widower had her coffin encased in glass and kept above ground until he died 30 years later, receiving the annuity all the while.
4.17.7 Angel Pantoja: wanted to be standing at his funeral. A funeral home in Puerto Rico used special embalming treatment to keep his body standing upright for a three-day wake in his mother’s San Juan home. Donning a New York Yankees cap and a sunglass, Pantoja was mourned by relatives while propped upright in the living room.

4.17.8 T.M Zink: donated his money for the creation of a womanless library. Lowa attorney T.M. Zink, who died in 1930, had such a strong disdain for women that he wished to use his savings to establish a library that would allow no works by female authors or artists, and would prohibit female patrons. In his will, Zink stipulated that his $35,000 be placed in a trust for 75 years, and the accumulated sum be used to build the Zink Womanless Library, where every entrance would bear a sign with the words “No Women Allowed.” Zink’s daughter, who was left $5 in the same will, challenged it successfully, and the female-free learning zone was never built.

4.17.9 Heine: left all his money to his wife on the condition that she had to remarry.

4.17.10. Rodenberry (Star Trek creator), a science fiction lover, requested to be cremated and sent into space.

4.17.11 Benny: made arrangements to have one rose delivered to his wife every day after his death.

4.17.12 Our Own Will

When crafting your own will, please feel free to get very creative but please be sure to keep within the ambits of the law. Remember that a will is a highly technical document and all the formalities are more than mere formality; they determine the validity or not of the will.


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