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Wills, Trusts & Estates: Plain and Simple – Will Power: Strange Will Provisions

July 16, 2020

Time for some summer fun.  You can make bequests in your Will and attach any contingency you would like.  Whether the bequest or contingency will be able to be carried out, or withstand an objection by the beneficiary in the courts, will depend on the contingency.  Here are some examples of weird will provisions. 

William Shakespeare:  Gave to Anne Hathaway (his wife) his “second-best bed”.  The bulk of his estate he bequeathed to his daughter Susanna. 

Jack Benny:  Directed that one red rose be delivered each day to his widow for the rest of her life.

Leona Helmsley (the “Queen of Mean”):  Directed that a $12 million trust be created to care for her 9 year old Maltese, Trouble, while cutting out her grandchildren, or requiring that they visit their father’s grave annually.  (The trust for Trouble was subsequently reduced to $2 million.) 

Reprinted with permission from Lloyd Harbor Life, July 2020. 

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