Motörhead's Phil Taylor left £1.3 million in his will, but nothing at all to his wife

Why did Motörhead drummer leave nothing to his wife?

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Photo of MOTORHEAD and Phil TAYLOR

Motörhead's drummer, Phil Taylor, left a will worth £1.3 million, but made sure his wife was excluded.

Taylor (otherwise known as Philthy Animal) died last November at the age of 61, just seven weeks before the death of Lemmy, Motörhead's frontman.

In the time leading up to Taylor's death, he was concerned that his estranged wife might try to get a share of his fortune, so his will made it very clear that she was to get nothing.

The Daily Mirror reported that the pair had married 15 years earlier, but their relationship broke down almost immediately, and she left a few weeks later.

The Daily Mail reported that Taylor had tried to track her down, so he could divorce her before he died. He even employed a private investigator, but with no success. As a precaution, he mentioned her in his will, to note that they had had "no contact... since shortly after the date of our marriage."

Weeks before he died, he secured a divorce on the basis of the years they had spent apart.

Most of his estate went to his two sisters, Linda Taylor-Fry and Helen Greenwood.

Unexpected wills

It's not the first time something unexpected has shown up in a celebrity will. Over the years, some famous faces have included some truly surprising things in their wills. Five of the oddest include:

1. Dusty Springfield
The devoted cat lover wanted to be sure someone would care for her pet after her death, so she put into her will that her cat must be cared for, fed with baby food, and played her songs.

2. Alexander McQueen
For the fashion designer, his dogs were his passion, so he left £50,000 in his will to be spent on caring for his pets after his death.

3. Gene Roddenberry
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the creator of Star Trek decided to use his death as an excuse to go to space. He left instructions in his will that his ashes should be sent to a satellite orbiting earth. This was carried out in 1997.

4. Houdini
One of the oddest wills was from the escapologist who felt certain he would return from the grave. He gave his wife a secret message, and said she should hold a séance every year. He would contact her from the afterlife and use the code so she would know it was him and tell the world. He never got in touch.

5. Robert Louis Stevenson
In a lovely quirk, he left his birthday to a friend, Annie H Ide - who had apparently always been put out at 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".

While all this may give us ideas for unusual things to put in our wills, there's something we could all stand to learn from this: if we want something specific to happen to our estate after we die, we need to make a will. Even if it's something very straightforward - like leaving everything to your other half - you need to put it in writing.

If we fail to do so, our estate will be divided according to very rigid rules, and there will be no chance for you to see your family looked after - let alone have your ashes sent to space or your cat fed with babyfood.

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