36 Lawyers Who Write Wills Share Their Clients’ Strangest Requests

“Not a Lawyer, but an aging woman my family knew left her house(large, and in a very affluent neighborhood) and estate to family friends for so long as her cats were alive and taken care of in said house. After they died, the house was to be sold and the remaining estate donated.

The weird thing is, it’s been like 20 years and the cats are still alive.

Also, they’ve changed color.”

“My great aunt who had no children put in her will that after a certain percent of her money was distributed evenly amongst her nieces and nephews, the remaining money would go to my dad provided he use it to throw a big family reunion party. Even after her death she brought the family together, it was a great party in her honor!”

“When my grandfather passed his will asked that I clean out his shed, and I alone.

I found marijuana seeds, old reel style film pornography, which was hilarious and a bunch of other unsavory paraphernalia. 50’s flick knives too.”

“Not a lawyer but my mom put in her will that if she dies under suspicious circumstances that my sister and I won’t be left anything. She watches a lot of true crime.”

“Not a lawyer, but I work at a law firm. One client left $100,000.00 to his two cats so they could “maintain their current lifestyle”.”

“Might be late to the party and not a lawyer, but my great-grandad had a clause in his will that stated something along the lines of, “if any of the beneficiaries decide to dispute the contents of the decedent’s estate, their share becomes $1 and nothing else.”

Seemed like a pretty good way to maintain harmony among his survivors.”

“Just last week I handled a matter where the parents left millions in artwork to various people, wads of cash to various charities, and only left their kids the family cats. Turns out they did it because the kids got them the cats to comfort the parents in their old age and the parents f@#king hated the cats but the kids wouldn’t let them get rid of the cats.”

“Lawyer here.

Wrote in my own will that I wish to be cremated and my funeral shall take place 3 miles off shore. My ashes are to be placed in a small wooden boat. Members of my funeral party will then compete for a $10,000 prize from my estate by shooting flaming arrows at my remains. Crossbows are prohibited.”

“Saw this answer from a similar question some time ago. When a dad died he set up financial installments so long as his daughter remains under a certain weight. Dude was controlling her diet from the grave.”

“My sister’s mother in-law is leaving her house to her three sons. If one wants to sell out his third of the house, he has to sell it to the other two brothers for $1.”

“I am a qualified solicitor, my favourite two are:

1. A lady wanted to create a trust fund of £100,000, for her pet fish. When I asked if it was a special kind of fish, she confirmed it was just a normal goldfish but she wanted it to be fed fresh avocado every day and be looked after by a local dog walker after she died. She was absolutely serious.

2. Another lady confessed she had a secret daughter, and she wanted to leave the daughter some money and photographs without the rest of her family finding out. Even her husband does not know. That will be a fun conversation when she passes away.”

“I work in probate. The oddest thing I’ve seen in a will is to euthanize their beloved horse, have it cremated and it’s ashes scattered with the decedent. Lucky for her horse, she named a horse that was already dead so the one she got afterwards lived to see another farm.”

“Lots of people sending their friends and family on weird errands to spread their ashes (leaving money for people to take trips and spread their ashes around the world).

Pet trusts are a fun one: leaving a whole whack of money in a trust to be used for the care of the pet during their life.

However, my favourite ever (that I obviously didn’t draft) was a lawyer who left the bulk of his estate (millions in today’s dollars) to whatever Toronto-area woman had the most children at a specific date some years in the future. I recall the winner had 10.”

“No, ma’am, in order to bequeath something, you actually have to own it.”

“My vindictive grandmother left my aunt $20 as a reminder of the $20 my aunt stole from her once.”

“When my grandfather passed it was discovered they they had been closet millionaires. No one in the family knew, but some good investments and frugal habits learned during the depression had turned out well for them. Of course they had 11 kids, so it got parceled down to about $100,000 each. Side note: Parents were encouraged to give their kids a slice and I just put a down payment on my first house — thanks memere and pepere!”

“A furby collection from models collected in the late 90’s. They were convinced they would retain future value. This was 2011.”

“My grandfather left me $1.00, he had dementia and confused my dad ripping him off with me. He left the rest of the family between $100,000 And a few million each.

They all said they felt horrible because they knew the details, but not horrible enough to give up any of their share.

The way I see it is it was never my money to begin with, so it’s not a loss. I’m just glad my sister got a hundred thousand,she needed it more than any of the others.”

“My friends mother had in her will “that cat gets to live in my house alone until it expires” the cat lived there for a few years alone with a caregiver checking on it. Yes she was rich.”

“I got some rock my grandpa really liked.”

“Had a friend who had a toxic relationship with his uncle. When his uncle passed he was surprised to find he was in the will. Turns out there was a handwritten IOU that read “I’m leaving you 15k BUT you have to come get it from me. I’ll see you in hell!” My friend laughed.”

“Here’s one from one of my dad’s law partners. He had a lady come in with an itemized list of books and wanted her will to contain all of the books and who will get what based on her choosing. So basically she decides who gets what specific book instead of letting her beneficiaries decide. The truly astonishing thing is how many books and how specific they get. According to dad’s law partner her list is at about 2,000 books to be divided among about 30 people. She is apparently very specific and comes back at least once a year to add all the new books she’s gotten.”

“I had the first son so my dad decided to leave me more. Except he did the math wrong and it came out to 105%. He had dementia.”

“Not a lawyer but my grandpa put in his will a chocolate bar for everyone one of his grand kids. Well I have like 12 cousins and very difficult to track down where a couple of them went. All this estates and money he had in will was at a stand still for months because they couldn’t find my couple cousins. Had to show court we put in effort to hire someone to track them down etc. The lawyer that was helping execute the Will was blown away that this lawyer allowed this and why he wouldn’t highly suggest not to do it. But I’m not complaining cause I got a Toblerone out of the deal!”

“My father is heavily involved in my great aunt and uncle’s lives since their health has begun to decline (both mid 90’s with no children), and has seen their will.

They have a small fortune (in excess of £1,000,000), and have left it all to a local dog’s home.

When he asked them about it, my great uncle’s response was “nobody has helped me in life, so I won’t be helping anybody either.””

“When my great grandad died in his will he stated that his coin collection be split equally across his family. There was like 8-9 of us and 3 potato sacks full of coins. So we all gathered round a table and each took one coin each until nothing was left. Among the coins was an Iron Cross, which was quiet odd as the only person on that side of the family that went to war was his dad, and he served with the ANZAC’s in WW1.”

“I’m not a lawyer, but my grandfather saved his kidney stone so that he could leave it to my cousin. They never really got along.”

“I research land and often go through wills to determine ownership of property.

“To my wife I leave a length of rope long enough to hang herself.””

“In my Mums will, which I have seen, she has left me the kitchen table and chairs.

She lives on a South Manchester council estate.

My brother gets the sideboard.”

“My grandfather has in his will to say “hi so-n-so.” Just so he can say that he mentioned that person in his will. He tells lots of people in the family that they are ‘in his will.’ It’s a joke that only he thinks is funny and he won’t be around for the punch line. I think it’s brilliant. He has about 10 people mentioned.”

“I’m the executor of my grandmother’s will. I also get the house and everything in it and a share of life insurance that’s split three ways between myself, sister, and mom. My mom has always said that all my dad , my grandmothers son-in-law, would like to have is some table. Well in the will there’s like a whole paragraph that states how my dad gets nothing, he doesn’t lay a finger on any thing in the house or any money. How my dad is basically worthless and deserves nothing and how he was a cr#p dad and that she begrudgingly has my mom in the will. Thanks grandma I’ll appreciate the awkwardness.”

“Client wanted her ashes spread at the restaurant (on the beach) where she met her husband.”

“Lawyer here. Probably the woman who wanted to gift the frozen semen of her dead dog.”

“My wife has clear instructions to use some of my life insurance to buy a dilapidated house out in the countryside, tie my corpse to a chair, and throw a raging party in my honor inside.

Afterwards, when everyone is good and hammered, douse me in accelerant and burn the house to the ground with me still inside. Party ain’t over till the house (and me) is no more.”

“Lady wanted her small dog to be buried with her. If the dog happened to be alive when the lady passed, she wanted the dog put down and then join her.”

“I once wrote a will for a guy who thought he could get away from giving his ex-wife half his assets by putting them in a will for his kids. Doesn’t work like that, buddy boy.”


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