Graveyard Shift

20 Famous Figures With Unusual Final Wishes 

Jessica L. Yarbrough
Updated May 14, 2020 1.8M views 20 items

Some celebrities are known to have some pretty eccentric demands, as seen in their on-set must-haves. So it makes sense that the occasional famous figure might have a few unique final wishes in their wills as well.  From odd cremation requests to memorial guidelines and giving an unhealthy amount of money to beloved pets, here is a look at a few final requests that might seem out of the ordinary. 

Napoleon Bonaparte is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Famous Figures With Unusual Final Wishes
Photo: David Ohmer/via Flickr

The French military leader and 19th-century emperor asked that his head be shaved after his death, and his hair divided up among his friends.

Age: Dec. at 52 (1769-1821)

Birthplace: Ajaccio, France

Profession: Politician, Military Officer

More Napoleon Bonaparte 

The Rise And Fall Of Eugénie De Montijo, Whose Thirst For Power Destroyed Napoleon's Dynasty #405 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #38 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

Leona Helmsley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Famous Figures With Unusual Final Wishes
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

When hotel owner Leona Helmsley passed in 2007, she left $10 million to her brother, $5 million to her grandsons, and a whopping $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble.  

Age: Dec. at 87 (1920-2007)

Birthplace: Marbletown, New York

Profession: Businessperson, Real estate entrepreneur, Real Estate Broker

More Leona Helmsley 

#1 of 11 11 Historic People Who Had Crazy Last Wills #5 of 13 13 People Who Left Their Fortunes to Their Pets

Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Famous Figures With Unusual Final Wishes
Photo:  Wikimedia

Founding Father Ben Franklin left his daughter 408 diamonds - on the condition that she never turn them into jewelry "and thereby introduce...the expensive, vain, and useless fashion of wearing jewels in this country."

Age: Dec. at 84 (1706-1790)

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Profession: Statesman, Librarian, Politician, Diplomat, Musician, + more

More Benjamin Franklin 

The Best Benjamin Franklin Quotes #36 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #11 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

Dusty Springfield is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Famous Figures With Unusual Final Wishes
Photo: Bradford Timeline/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

Pop singer Dusty Springfield left very specific instructions in her will. Not about her estate or family, but about her cat Nicholas. The '60s singer asked that her feline be fed imported baby food, live in an indoor treehouse, be serenaded at night with Dusty's old records, have his bed lined with Dusty's pillowcase and nightgown, and get married to a friend's female cat. 

Age: Dec. at 60 (1939-1999)

Birthplace: West Hampstead, London, United Kingdom

Profession: Arranger, Record producer, Musician, Singer, Presenter

More Dusty Springfield 

The Best Dusty Springfield Albums of All Time #92 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #49 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever