Celebs Who Put Some Weird And Fascinating Stuff In Their Wills And Final Wishes

Actor Marilyn Monroe
Wikimedia Commons | Published by Corpus Christi Caller-Times-photo from Associated Press

Have you ever thought about what you would put into your final will and testament? It might seem like a grim thought, but it's never too early to start think about your enduring legacy.

Celebrities, of course, seem to exist on a separate wavelength than the rest of us. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes time to communicate their final wishes, some celebs have gotten a bit weird.

John B. Kelly, Sr.

Rower John B. Kelly, Sr., father of Grace Kelly
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author

John B. Kelly, Sr. was an impressive man in his own right — a champion rower and wealthy construction magnate. But he's probably best remembered as the father of Grace Kelly, the actress who became Princess of Monaco.

He had some guidance for his daughter in his final will, asking her to take it easy on the spending. There was language in his will asking her to "not bankrupt the Principality of Monaco with the bills about her clothing."

Gene Roddenberry

'Star Trek' creator Gene Roddenberry
Wikimedia Commons | NASA

The Star Trek creator was at his best when he was dealing with stories in space. His final will requested a space burial: in essence, his ashes were taken aboard a spacecraft and launched into the cold vacuum of space.

George Bernard Shaw

Playwright George Bernard Shaw
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author

Playwright and author George Bernard Shaw wanted to change the world, even in death. To that end, he left money to fund an entirely new alphabet, the Shaw Alphabet. While the alphabet did in fact become a thing, it never really caught on.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Wikimedia Commons | Georges Biard

When esteemed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away unexpectedly in 2014, he took the unusual step of keeping his money away from his kids. Wary of turning them into "trust fund kids," he left his entire fortune to his girlfriend.

William Randolph Hearst

Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author

Hearst grew a vast fortune through his magazine and newspaper empire and when he died at the age of 88, the publishing baron had an offer for any potential heirs: anyone who could prove that they were his child would be given a dollar.

Dusty Springfield

Singer Dusty Springfield
Wikimedia Commons | Anefo

Singer Dusty Springfield passed away at the age of 59 in 1999. When she died, she wanted to be sure her cat Nicholas was cared for. Her will requested that he be fed imported baby food, have his own indoor treehouse, and be able to listen to Dusty's old records.

Leona Helmsley

Businesswoman Leona Helmsley
Wikimedia Commons | United States Marshals Service

The hotelier and businesswoman Leona Helmsley had a sizeable estate when she died. $10 million went to her brother, $5 million went to her grandsons, and $12 million — the biggest payday of all — went to her dog, affectionately named 'Trouble.'

Marilyn Monroe

Actor Marilyn Monroe
Wikimedia Commons | Published by Corpus Christi Caller-Times-photo from Associated Press

Monroe died childless, so the bulk of her estate went to Lee Strasberg, her acting coach. Monroe also set up a trust fund to take care of her mother, who'd battled demons her entire life and was in and out of mental hospitals.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Wikimedia Commons | John Taylor

The Bard took part in a custom that seems unusual today but was common in his time: he left most of his estate to his oldest daughter and left his second-best bed to his wife. It was standard at the time to leave one's estate and their best furniture to their children.

Janis Joplin

Singer Janis Joplin
Wikimedia Commons | Grossman Glotzer Management Corporation

Joplin passed away far too young at the age of 27. Even at a young age, she knew how she wanted to be remembered: not with a funeral, but with a party. She left $2,500 to a close friend to arrange a party to celebrate her life.

Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy Kilmister holding a guitar during a performance
Wikimedia Commons | Rama

The Motörhead frontman lived fast and lived large, and wanted to continue that legacy even after death. So he asked that after his body was cremated, the ashes would be put inside bullets that would be given to his family and close friends.

Harry Houdini

Magician Harry Houdini
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author

Legendary magician Harry Houdini died suddenly after a punch to the stomach went wrong. Both he and his wife were into mysticism, and had a secret way to communicate in the event that one of them died. After Houdini died, his wife held unsuccessful seance after unsuccessful seance in an effort to contact her dead husband.

Ed Headrick

A red Frisbee flying disc
Wikimedia Commons | Petey21

Ed Headrick's claim to fame was inventing the Frisbee flying disc, an impressive legacy for sure. To stay on-brand even in death, Headrick's final will stipulated that he was to be cremated, with his ashes formed into Frisbees that would be given to his loved ones.

Hugh Hefner

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner
Wikimedia Commons | Toglenn

The Playboy mogul was known for the empire he founded and the many girlfriends he had. Hef also had kids, and in his will he said that if any of them became dependent on drugs or alcohol, they'd be cut off from the cash flow.

David Bowie

Musician David Bowie
Wikimedia Commons | Adam Bielawski

The beloved and groundbreaking musician passed away in 2016 at the age of 69 and kept things straightforward in his will: he left $2 million to his personal assistant, $1 million to his daughter's former nanny, and said that he didn't want the fuss of a funeral.

Charles Dickens

Author Charles Dickens
Wikimedia Commons | Jeremiah Gurney

The famed writer had a deeply unusual request in his final will: rather than asking for something tangible, he required anyone attending his funeral to "wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity."

Alexander McQueen

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen
Wikimedia Commons | Ed Kavishe / fashionwirepress.com

When fashion designer Alexander McQueen passed away in 2010 at the age of 40, he left a significant amount of money — £50,000 — so his dogs would be cared for. He also donated £100,000 to various animal charities.

Fredric Baur

Woman holding a can of Pringles
Unsplash | Proper Quality Shandis

Fredric Baur might not be a household name, but he made his mark in the world by inventing Pringles potato chips. When he died in 2008, it was found that his will stipulated he be buried in a giant Pringles can — a wish his family complied with.

Jack Benny

Celebrities Mary Livingstone and Jack Benny in 1939
Wikimedia Commons | NBC Radio

This is perhaps the sweetest item on this list: legendary comedian and entertainer Jack Benny didn't want his widow to be sad after he died. So he wrote it into his will that she'd be delivered a single rose every day for the rest of her life.