No one enjoys thinking about passing away, and so writing your will may often get brushed to the side. It’s important to have one in place, and plenty of support is available to you to help get yours written up. What to include and who to leave it to are huge questions that need to be asked. While you’re thinking about your own will, here are a few of the weirdest and strangest things that have been named in people’s wills.

What is a will?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what a will is. A will is a legal document that lays out your wishes for the future of your possessions and property in the event of your death. This can be anything from homes to children, and you must decide who you want to leave these things to. The majority of people use a will writing service through a solicitor or attorney as this is the best way to make sure everything is legitimate and that all the important items are included.

William Shakespeare

Born in 1564, Shakespeare is the world’s best-known playwright, writing over 37 plays that are still performed regularly around the world today. He died in 1616 at the age of 52. In his will, he left his ‘second best bed’ to his wife Anne Hathaway. While it was not unusual to leave your bed to a loved one in the 17th century, it leaves the impression of a ‘best bed’. Furthermore, if his wife got the second best one, who did the very best bed go to?

Robert Louis Stevenson

Known for his works including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist who died in 1894. His daughter was unhappy that she was born on Christmas Day, and therefore Stevenson left her November 13th in his will. This date was Stevenson’s birthday, and he bequeathed it to his daughter so that she may celebrate her birthday then, instead of Christmas Day.

George Bernard Shaw

Upon his death, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw left around half a million pounds to develop a new alphabet. Set up as a competition, he called for entries and to have one of his plays transcribed in the winning alphabet. The winner was Kingsley Read, with the Shavian Alphabet, which included rules such as no capital letters and three different types of letters; long, deep, and short. Needless to say, it did not take off, and only a few works were published using it.


Everyone loves their pets and worries about what will happen to them after they’re gone. However, several of the strangest wills revolve around the beloved animals of the deceased. Eleanor Ritchey left $14 million to her 150 stray dogs, and real estate investor Leona Helmsley tried to set up a $12 million trust for her dog in her will. Thomas Shewbridge from California made his two dogs owners of 29,000 shares in a local electric company in the event of his death, as well as his estate.


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