Contact Stamford
Lasting Power Of Attorney
Protecting Your Assets
About Stamford

Humourous Wills

Strange Bequests

When American hat maker S Sanborn died in 1871, he left his body to science, bequeathing it to Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr (a professor of anatomy at Harvard), and one of Holmes colleagues. The condition was that two drums were to be made from Sanborn's skin and given to a friend who every June 17th at dawn was to play Yankee Doodle at Bunker Hill to commemorate the famous revolutionary war battle. The rest of his body was to be composted for a fertilizer to contribute to the growth of an American elm, to be planted in some rural thoroughfare.

Economist Jeremy Bentham left a large fortune to the University College of London on condition that his preserved corpse annually "attend" the board of directors' meetings. For many years he was recorded as "present but not voting".

Juan Potomachi left over $50,000 to the Teatro Dramatico in Buenos Aires, on the condition that his skull be preserved and used in the production of Hamlet.

When Mark Gruenwald of Marvel Comics fame died in 1996, he left instructions in his will for his heirs to blend the ashes of his body with ink and use the mixture within the pages of a comic book. According to an Associated Press story, 4000 copies of Gruenwald's 'ink and ashes' edition was distributed in 1997.

Robert Millar did his best to reduce the annoying traffic situations caused by double-parking. Miller who died in 1995 at age 64 bequeathed $5000 as reward money for officers who write the most tickets for double-parking.


When Onni Nurmi a Finnish man who made money in America in the 1920s died he left dividends from 780 shares in a rubber boot company to be used "for the recreation of the people" living in a Finnish village nursing home.

The company Nokia moved into electronics in the 1980s and soon became the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. It shares have made millionaires of the residents of the home.

Unwelcome Bequests

Wills can also be used as an opportunity to pass on heartfelt, but not always loving messages to their families. This testator used the opportunity to reveal his true feelings.

'To my wife I leave her lover and the knowledge that I was not the fool she thought me: to my son I leave the pleasure of earning a living. For 20 years he thought the pleasure was all mine: he was mistaken.'

Misspelts Bequests

When leaving money to charity it is vital to correctly spell them, as demonstrated by these 'unusual' bequests.

Dr Bananas

Dr Barbados

British Legless Ex-serviceman's Association

The Anatomical Doners Association (as in Kebab)

The National Rust

The Co-op workers of Mother Theresa

The International Council for the Prevention of Birds

Royal National Institute for the Death

The Royal National Lifeboard Institution