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Wills Stranger Than Any Written by Your Family Members

Although many people may still remember the 2007 will drafted for “soft-spoken” Leona Helmsley which provided $12 million to cover all future expenses for taking care of her little dog, many other far more unique -- and even rather bizarre -- wills are not as well known.

Wills and Testators to Be Remembered Through the Ages

  • A Misogynist’s Dreams Denied. It seems one T. M. Zink, who died back in 1930, truly disliked all women. In fact, he felt so strongly that he requested that his entire $35,000 be placed in a trust so that years later it could be used to create a library that would be called the “Zink Womanless Library.” He said he wanted all library entrances to have signs above them indicating that no women could enter. Unfortunately for him, his daughter outsmarted him when she successfully challenged this will -- in which he had only left her five dollars;
  • A True Romantic. The very funny and highly talented comedian Jack Benny left one truly tender request in his will. In addition to fully providing for his wife’s living expenses, he also left a sizable amount of money to a local florist. This was done so that one long-stemmed red rose could be delivered to his wife (Mary Livingston) every day for the rest of her life. As it turns out, she survived him by nine years. As many Benny fans know, this couple was married for 45 years and frequently performed together;
  • Houdini:  Everybody has to disappear/die someday. This master escape artist and magician, who passed away back in 1926, left his wife instructions to help her try and contact him “in the next life” during a séance on Halloween each year. It seems he left her some special words that he thought might help her contact him and hopefully prevent others from trying to impersonate him. However, after 10 unsuccessful attempts to try and contact her husband after his death, his wife stopped holding the annual séances;
  • You may never look at a can of Pringles potato chips the same way again. It seems that Frederick Baur, who died back in 2008, was the person who decided to sell his Pringles potato chips in a can. In fact, he was so proud of his product that he later asked his children to bury him along with a can of these chips. He must have kindly rewarded his children with gifts – for they finally decided to honor his request.

 

 Although there will probably always be strange people who leave behind rather bizarre wills in the future -- the ones that really matter are those similar to the one left by Jack Benny. He clearly proved that the classiest kind of will is one that’s based solely upon love.

 

To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia