From time to time it is fun to look back on what are some of the strangest bequests people have put in their estate planning documents.
1. An eccentric lawyer named Charles Vance Miller, a resident of Canada, was noted for his practical jokes. He left a large sum of money from his estate to the woman who could produce the most children in the ten year period after his death. The contest which became known as the Great Stork Derby resulted in 4 women each receiving $125,000 (Canadian money) for each bearing 9 children.
2. Harold West thought he might become a vampire after his death in 1972 so he left instructions in his will that his doctor drive a stake into his heart just to be sure he was properly dead. Who knows if the doctor carried out his wishes.
3. Samuel Bratt wanted revenge on his wife who would never let him smoke. He left her 330,000 English pounds, a large sum of money in 1960, as long as she smoked 5 cigars a day. How would that be enforced?
4. An American, John Bowman, was predeceased by his wife and 2 daughters. He believed in reincarnation so when in died in 1891, he left a trust fund for the maintenance of his 21-room mansion including a provision that the servants cook dinner each night in case the reincarnated family was hungry when they came back.
5. Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek TV series, had his ashes blasted into space on a satellite. So did actor James Doohan (who played Scottie on the series) and astronaut Gordon Cooper.
At Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, we have been asked to make some unique bequests or provisions but not like these. As part of your revocable living trust, we can draft custom provisions to fulfill your wishes, hopefully not as wacky as these examples.