These Famous People Left The Strangest And Most Obnoxious Wills

Wills exist so you can have some say in what happens to your earthly possessions after you kick the bucket. Normally, they’re pretty straightforward. Just a bunch of legal jargon about what money goes where. Kids get whatever amount, the spouse gets whatever amount, business as usual.

Sometimes, things get a little bit spicier. These famous folks had very specific requests about what should happen after they leave this world. Keep reading to see a man who wanted to be stuffed and preserved in a university, a famous playwright who invented a language posthumously, and a millionaire who left her fortune to a fluffy white dog named Trouble.

Napoleon Bonaparte


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When Napoleon died at age 52 in 1821, we discovered a pretty strange clause in his final will and testament.

Napolean definitely had some issues — there’s even a complex named after him — but nobody thought he’d take things this far. Napoleon asked for his head to be shaved after his death, and for his hair to be divided up among his friends.

Marilyn Monroe


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Marilyn Monroe was as much of a mystery after her death as she was when she was alive. Instead of leaving all of her worldly possessions to her family, she left everything to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg.

Apparently, all of her belongings sat in Lee’s basement until the day he died.

Philip Seymour Hoffman


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The world was shocked when actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away of an overdose in 2014. His will stirred up some nasty family drama. Hoping to avoid turning his children into “trust fund kids,” Hoffman left everything to his girlfriend instead of his children.

He also asked for his son Cooper to be raised in three different cities: New York, Chicago, and San Fransisco.

Dusty Springfield


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When ’60s pop singer Dusty Springfield died in 1999, she left very specific instructions in her will.

She insisted that her cat, Nicholas, be fed imported baby food, live in an indoor tree house, listen to her old records to help him sleep at night, have his bed lined with her pillowcase and nightgown, and get married to a friend’s female cat.

Mickey Rooney


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Despite being a successful actor since he was a teenager, Mickey Rooney didn’t have much money left when he died in 2014.

He only had $80,000 to his name, but he didn’t leave any of it to his wife and children. They tried to contest his decision, but they eventually lost.

Gene Roddenberry


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Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, asked for a space burial in his will. In 1992, a year after his death, he got his wish.

His remains were the first to be launched into space. When Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett, died in 2008, she also got the space burial treatment.

William Shakespeare


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William Shakespeare wrote some of the most famous verses in the English language. In his final will, we wrote that his wife should receive his “second-best bed.”

I really hope that that was a cute inside joke that he had with his wife because if it’s not— who got your first best bed, Billy?

Farrah Fawcett


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After Farrah Fawcett died in 2009, her will seemed to confirm several rumors about her partner, Ryan O’Neal. Fawcett left most of her fortune to her son, Redmond Fawcett O’Neal. She also left some money to her nephew, her father, and her ex. Ryan wasn’t even mentioned.

Maybe all of the rumors about Ryan’s violent and manipulative tendencies were true?

Charles Dickens


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English author Charles Dickens became famous for his novels Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Apparently, he also really cared about fashion.

He included wardrobe requirements for his memorial service in his final will. He requested that “those attending my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity.”

Jeremy Bentham


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Lawyer and philosopher Jeremy Bentham asked for his body to be preserved, stuffed with hay, and displayed in the University College London. The executor of his will (and his best friend), Dr. Thomas Smith, dissected and stuffed Bentham’s body himself.

Jeremy Bentham’s stuffed body is still on display in London. You can go visit it if you’re feeling particularly morbid.

Alexander McQueen


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British fashion designer Alexander McQueen shocked the world when he died suddenly at the age of 41. After his death in 2010, he left most of his fortune to charity. He also left his dogs 75,000 dollars.

I’m not sure what dogs are supposed to do with that much money. Probably just eat really fancy dog food.

Tupac Shakur


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In his song, “Black Jesus,” Tupac mentioned that his final wish was for his friends to literally smoke his ashes.

His friends took that request seriously. Members of hip-hop collective Outlawz mixed his ashes into a joint and sent their friend off in style.

William Randolph Hearst


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Magazine mogul William Randolph Hearst lived to the ripe old age of 88. He finally put some old rumors to rest in his will.

He wrote that anyone who could prove that he was their biological father would receive one whole dollar. This was probably his way of disproving theories that he had illegitimate children.

Adam Yauch


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Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys never wanted to sell out, even after he died. The final line of his will made sure that nobody could use his image or his music for advertising purposes.

That’s probably the most rock and roll thing I’ve ever heard.

George Bernard Shaw


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When author and playwright George Bernard Shaw died in 1950 at the age of 94, he wasn’t ready to stop making magic with words. Shaw left money behind to fund the creation of a brand new alphabet called the “Shaw Alphabet.”

The alphabet needed to be at least 40 letters, be phonetic, and be distinctly different from the Latin alphabet. The project took less than a year. By the end of 1950, the Shaw Alphabet was out in the world.

Harry Houdini


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The great Harry Houdini wasn’t just going to roll over and die. He always had a trick or two up his sleeve. Before he passed away, he asked his wife Bess to hold a seance every year in an effort to contact his spirit.

They also developed a secret code so she would know that it really was him she was talking to.

Leona Helmsley


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Leona Helmsley was a hotel owner who made millions of dollars in her lifetime. When she died in 2007, she left ten million dollars to her brother, five million dollars to her grandsons, and, wait for it, twelve million dollars to her Maltese named Trouble.

That definitely sounds like trouble to me.

Janis Joplin


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Just two days before she died, rock legend Janis Joplin made some changes to her will. She set aside 2,500 dollars to pay for an all-night party for 200 guests at her favorite pub in California after her death.

“So my friends can get blasted after I’m gone,” she said. The bulk of her estate reportedly went to her parents.

Benjamin Franklin


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When Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, he left his daughter 408 diamonds. There was a catch, though. She wasn’t allowed to turn them into jewelry “and thereby introduce… the expensive, vain, and useless fashion of wearing jewels in this country.”

Unfortunately, the country became pretty vain whether Franklin wanted it or not.

Ed Headrick


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Ed Headrick, the inventor of the Frisbee, used to say that Frisbee was “a religion.” In his will, he asked for his ashes to be molded into limited-edition Frisbees. His family honored his final request.

Before he passed, Ed famously said, “When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there.”