Ten bizarre clauses to consider for your will

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Dusty Springfield

Retired nurse, Joan Edwards, caused a political nightmare for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, by leaving £520,000 in her will to 'whichever government is in office." They originally divided it between them as a donation, but after an outcry have confirmed they will give it to the Treasury.

But this is far from the oddest bequest in a will. Here are ten of our favourites:


1. Dusty Springfield

She may be a British pop legend, but she was also a devoted cat owner. Springfield's will dictated that her cat must be cared for after her death - specifying that it should be fed with baby food and played her songs. She also said her cat should 'marry' the pet cat of his new owner.

2. Gene Roddenberry

The creator of Star Trek was keen to boldly go where no other ashes had gone before. He left instruction and provision in his will for his ashes to be scattered by a satellite orbiting earth. This was carried out in 1997.

3. Houdini

Death was one thing this performer couldn't escape - but he gave it a go. He was convinced he would be back, and so arranged for a seance to be held on the anniversary of his death each year. He also gave his wife a secret message, and said he would contact her from the afterlife using this code to ensure that the contact was genuine. She was then to announce it to a waiting public... she never did.

4. Charles Vance Miller

An unknown Canadian lawyer became famous after his death after offering a £500,000 prize (in today's money) to the Toronto woman who had the most children in the decade after his death in 1926. The money was shared by four women - who each produced nine children.

5. Wellinton R Burt

The spiteful multimillionaire, who died in 1919, arranged in his will that not a penny of his $100 million fortune should be paid out until after the death of his last grandchild. In 1989 the last grandchild died and the legal arguments began. In 2011, the surviving 12 descendants split the money.

6. Janis Joplin

The 1960s singing star died of an overdose in 1970. She changed her will two days before her death, leaving $2,500 to pay for an all-night party for 200 guests at her favorite pub in San Anselmo, California, "so my friends can get blasted after I'm gone."

7. Robert Louis Stevenson

After his death he left his birthday to a friend, Annie H Ide. Apparently she had often complained about being born on Christmas Day. He asked her to treat the 13 November with "moderation and humanity... the said birthday not being so young as it once was".

8. Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral de Camera

In 2007, the Portuguese aristocrat chose to leave his estate (two properties, a car and 25,000 euros) to 70 strangers. He had chosen them at random from a Lisbon telephone directory at a registry office 13 years earlier.

9.Henry Budd

When he died in 1862 he left his £200,000 estate in trust to his two sons - on the condition that neither grow a moustache.

10. Alexander McQueen

The fashion designer who committed suicide in 2010 shocked the fashion world one last time - by leaving £50,000 of his £16 million fortune to his dogs.

The dead celebrity rich list

The dead celebrity rich list