Most often, in wills, people indicate to which of the relatives they want to transfer certain property, and also give orders how they would like to be buried. Sometimes the last will of the deceased can be very peculiar, incomprehensible to the public or unfair. We talk about strange wills known in history in the material.
1. Testament as a way to deal with someone else’s extravagance
John Kelly Sr., born in the USA in 1889, was an industrialist and sportsman. He was engaged in academic rowing and three times became the champion of the Olympic Games.
His fortune, earned through work in the construction industry, was estimated at several million dollars – in those days it was a lot of money. But he is known not only for his wealth. John had a daughter named Grace, who became an actress and, after her marriage, the Princess of Monaco.
Kelly Sr. was a practical thinker, which allowed him to make a fortune. He tried to instill the same habits in his daughter, considering her significant spending on jewelry and clothes unreasonable.
In his will, John indicated that Rainier, Prince of Monaco and husband of his daughter, should limit her expenses so that his state would not go bankrupt. It is not known whether the will of the father, Grace’s habits or successful public policy influenced this, but in 1982, at the time of the death of the princess, Monaco had a strong financial structure.
2. Testament of diamonds that cannot be worn
The American politician Benjamin Franklin was a wealthy man who left an estate and a large fortune to his heirs. According to the will, his daughter Sarah got a printing house, as well as more than 400 diamonds of various sizes.
The problem was that, according to the will of her father, the girl could not wear them as jewelry or use them to make accessories. This was a kind of act of concern for Benjamin’s daughter, as the politician believed that the fashion for wearing jewelry was meaningless and did not support her. He did not want Sarah to succumb to her in the same way as other girls of that time.
3. Testament to make bracelets from the hair of the late Napoleon
This last will belongs to the famous commander Napoleon Bonaparte. It is reflected in a voluminous will containing instructions on what property should be distributed to relatives, friends and colleagues. An unusual order from Napoleon was received by his personal valet and friend Louis Joseph Marchand. It looked like this:
I charge my hair to be preserved and made into a bracelet with a small gold clasp to be sent to the Empress Marie-Louise, my mother and each of my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, a cardinal and one larger one to my son.
True, it is still a moot question whether this last will of the commander was fulfilled.
4. Will to keep the ashes in a can of Pringles chips
Fredrik Baur was the one who developed and received the patent for the packaging of the famous Pringles chips. He was proud of his achievement. And so much so that in the will he indicated that his ashes should be buried in a can of chips. As a result, one part of Fredrik’s ashes was buried as he asked, the second – in a traditional urn, and the third – handed over to relatives.
5. A testament to 70 strangers in the phone book
The wealthy aristocrat Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara had no close people to whom he could leave his fortune by the end of his life. During his life he never married, had no children. The man made an unusual will, which brought a lot of surprise and positive emotions to strangers.
According to the last will of Louis, 70 people, randomly selected from the telephone directory of Lisbon, were to become the heirs of his property. One such recipient of the property, who was 70 years old, noted that at first she thought it was a cruel hoax, since before Louis died, she did not know anything about him.
6. Testament for a beloved cat
Dusty Springfield, an English singer, had a successful career in the 1960s. But after 1970, her fame began to gradually fade, and in 1999 the woman died of breast cancer.
She left a cat Nicholas, who was 13 years old. Dusty had detailed instructions in her will on how to take care of him. The departure included ordering special baby food from the US that the cat loved. He also had to live in a covered treehouse, which had an audio system that played recordings of his mistress’s songs at night. The singer also clarified that her nightgown was to be used as a cover for Nicholas’ bed.
Pop singer Lee Everett Alkin was obliged to fulfill Dusty’s last will, as well as to receive money to take care of the cat.
7. Testament to create a library inaccessible to women
Townsend Murphy Zink was a lawyer. He lived in the USA at the end of the 19th century. The man was married twice and also had a daughter. After his death, Townsend left her $ 5, and did not allocate finances to his wife at all – only a permit to live in his house, for which it was necessary to pay monthly.
Most of the state, according to the will, went to trust management. Part of the Townsend estate was to be converted into a library containing a large number of useful books and scientific materials. Young people from 15 years old could become its visitors. But for women, access to the library, according to the last will of the deceased, was strictly prohibited.
Townsend explained his will in his will with “a strong hatred of women, based on the experience of communication, observation of them and research.” His daughter challenged her father’s last will and won the case, so the “misogynistic library” was never built.