Celebrity Wills and Odd Requests


Let’s face it. We’re all a bit nosey and like to look at celebrity Wills. Here is a list of some strange requests.

  1.  Janis Joplin

Recording artist and songwriter Janis Joplin, was famous for her work in the 60s and 70s. She sadly met a tragic death in 1970. Joplin’s Will inlcuded a gift of $2,500 to be used for a party in the event she passed away.

  1. Mark Gruenwald

Mark Gruenwald was the Executive Editor of Captain America and Iron Man. He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1996 and it was discovered in his Will that he wanted to be cremated and wanted ashes to be mixed with ink so that it could be used to print more comic books—and they were.

  1. Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini was a famous magician and sadly died in 1926. In his Will he wrote 10 random words to his wife. He wanted his wife to  hold a séance every Halloween after his death and instructed that he would communicate with her through those 10 words. After his passing, his wife held such séances every year for 10 years, eventually stopping since Houdini did not make his presence known.

  1. Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte is a name we’re all familiar with but you may not know about an odd bequest in his Will. After his death in 1821, his Will directed that his head be shaved and his hair be distributed among his friends.

  1. Robert Louis Stevenson

You can bequest anything you own in your Will and Robert Louis Stevenson went one step further. When he died he left his birthday to a friend whose birthday fell on Christmas day because she felt cheated.

  1. Leona Helmsley

Leona was a hotel owner and caused quite a stir after she died. She left £10m to her brother £5m to her grandchildren and £12m to her dog!!

  1. Dusty Springfield

The famous singer’s Will is sure to make you smile. In it she directed that her cat, Nicholas, be fed imported baby food, live in an indoor tree house, be sung to sleep at night with Dusty’s old records, have his bed lined with Dusty’s pillowcase and nightgown, and get married to a friend’s female cat.

  1. Philip Seymour Hoffman

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away in 2014 his family started to fight. He didn’t want his children to be entitled ‘brats’ so left everything to his girlfriend. He also requested that his son, Cooper, be raised in three cities: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

  1. Charles Dickens

English author Charles Dickens was really particular about his funeral. He picked out his outfit for his memorial service, and he asked that “those attending my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity”.

  1. Marilyn Monroe

The fashion icon Monroe left all of her personal effects to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. Apparently, all of her belongings sat in Lee’s basement until the day he died.


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The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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