5. Estate Left to Strangers
Our wills solicitors, like anyone, imagine winning the lottery. But, to win the lottery without even buying a ticket must come in nothing short of a miracle. The Portuguese aristocrat Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara made this miracle a reality for 70 lucky strangers.
Luis’ process to decide the lucky individuals was straightforward. He randomly chose 70 people’s names from the Lisbon phone directory and wrote them in as beneficiaries. Understandably, some of the beneficiaries’ responses to this news was that it was a scam. Mainly due to most, if not all, the recipients not even knowing this man existed before the will.
4. $12 Million in a Will to the Dog
In 2004, the American billionaire Leona Helmsley left instructions in her will to spend a portion of her enormous estate caring for her nine-year-old Maltese, Trouble. Our wills solicitors were shocked to hear that Trouble received $12 million (£8 million) in the will. Her grandchildren were either not mentioned or under strict instructions to follow precise orders to inherit their shares.
The family vigorously contested the pampered pup’s inheritance and got the will overturned in court. Trouble’s share was cut down to a ‘measly’ $2 million (£1.2 million) by the judge.
To add insult to injury, Trouble’s affluence meant he had to go into hiding as he was receiving frequent death and kidnapping threats.
2. Friends’ Weekend Away
It’s a warming thought to think that our closest friends will raise a glass to us to celebrate our lives when we’ve gone. However, Rodger Brown took this one step further. The 67-year-old left behind a secret inheritance of £3,500 to seven of his closet mates. The hidden legacy came with an accompanying condition to spend the money on a weekend getaway to a European city. Not ones to disobey the last wishes of a benevolent soul, Rodger’s friends kindly obliged.
One beneficiary spoke with the South Wales Evening Post on how they spent the money. Berlin was the destination of choice. Also, the recipient was quoted in the interview saying, “We spent most of it on beer, the rest we wasted.”