In everyone's will, they get the last word and say-so when it comes to everything they own. Some requests are fairly easy, but some are straight up petty. These lawyers share the strangest requests and rules they saw in their clients' wills.
There Are No Handouts In America Dude
“Had a guy be charitable when we were drafting his will. $1 Million to his church, $2 million to a local hospital, and another $2 million to the American Heart Association.
When we gave him a quote on how much it cost to draft the will (it wasn’t much because it was a rather straightforward document), he asked for a payment plan. He couldn’t afford the will.
Dude had no money.
He thought you could just leave money to people/organizations and the government would foot the bill. He was also the sort that became visibly angry talking about welfare and government ‘hand-outs,’ which made his thinking even funnier to me.”
His Kids Inherited Millions But The Amount They Could Actually Spend Was Unbelievable
“My mom only works for crazy rich people. The worst will she ever told me about was this old guy who was close to 90. He wanted it so that when he dies, all of his millions will go into a trust for his kids and his kids will never be able to touch it, but they can collect the interest it generates. So he had my mom set him up with this group of accountants who will manage the trust, and he specifically arranged a plan with them to manage the account in such a way that their yearly billing will almost exactly match the interest to be made. So when he dies his kids will inherit millions but will only be able to spend $35 a year that the kids have to split between them.”
They Had Good Intentions, But Their Final Request Brought More Trouble Than Help To This Nonprofit
“Sister used to work for a nonprofit in Philly that was frequently the recipient of bequests from wealthy estates. The non-profit has been around for at least 200 years, and they have some odd bequests still kicking around. One she mentioned: they were left with a sum of money each year from an estate, so long as they arranged to ship a set of books to Liberia each year. The head of the estate was an abolitionist, and he wanted to help the ex-slaves in the new-at-the-time country of Liberia get started.
For a good stretch in the late ’80s and ’90s, though, no one would deliver to Liberia thanks to its civil war, so someone from the foundation had to hop over to Africa and hand deliver a box of books to a war zone in order to keep the bequest happy.
The particularly annoying part was that it wasn’t a lot of money: $150/year (or whatever it was) was a huge bequest in, say, 1815, but these days it doesn’t go far towards transporting things to Africa.
She spent a lot of time making presentations asking people NOT to do things like that.”
“Those Dogs Are Going To Be Much More Wealthy Than Me In A Couple Of Years”
“Man have I seen some bad ones recently. Had this little old lady come in, and wanted a referral from one of our clients who was an accountant. He said she was a little bit strange but nothing too odd.
Lady had four children, her husband had passed.
Had a couple of hundred thousand dollars in various bank accounts plus a house.
So she appoints her friend as executor and trustee, with the direction to sell her house when she dies.
A sizeable portion of her estate was to go to some weird church.
The balance of her estate is to be invested and used to house her three little dogs or any dogs that she has at her death with the direction that her trustee looked after the dogs.
Those dogs are going to be wealthier than me in a couple of years.”
At Least She Got The Last Laugh
“Apparently, there was this rich old broad (ROB from here on out), and her family had been waiting for her to die for years so they could get her money. Real stuck up, crappy people, and ROB hated them. But I guess she either didn’t have anyone else to leave her money to, or she figured that her awful family would contest the will if everything wasn’t left to them.
Knowing how status-conscious these crappy relatives are, ROB decided, ‘Fine, they can have the stupid money, but I’m gonna make them suffer for it.’
So when ROB finally passes away, her lawyer approaches the family with her instructions for how her funeral is to be run. According to ROB’s will, the only way they get the money is if they follow these instructions to the letter. I don’t remember all the absurd details in her instructions, except for the pièce de résistance: