Wills
Celebrities who died with a Will
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Celebrities who died with a Will

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

The important thing which the following List of these Celebrities who died with a Will reveals is that Estate Planning should not be taken lightly. Whether you are worth $100 or $100 million, you will never want your hard-earned money to be wasted after you.

Celebrity Wills are unpredictable and interesting to read. You might be curious to know how they manage the following: 

  • High net worth estate planning ideas
  • High net worth tax strategies.
  • At what net worth do you need a Trust?
  • Estate planning close by how much time? 

Table of Contents:

1. George Washington

2. Walt Disney

3. Jim Morrison

4. Elizabeth Edwards

5. Lessons we learnt from these Wills.

Following is the list of Famous Celebrities who died with a Last Will and Testaments which will give you an insight on what to include and what to avoid while writing your own Will. You may also check for the sample wills online to have an idea.


George Washington

Walt Disney

Jim Morrison

Elizabeth Edwards

Died at the age of 67 with a net worth of roughly $7,80,000.

Died at the age of 65 with a net worth of $1 Billion.

Died at the age of 27 with a net worth of $20 million.

Died at the age of 61 with a net worth of $1.5 million.

Gave the highest priority to his beloved wife  and gave Freedom to the slaves he owned in his Will.

In his last Will and Testament, he left ½ of his wealth to his family and relatives and the other half to a charitable foundation for the arts.

He was unmarried but had a girlfriend named Pamela Courson, and in his will; he left everything to his girlfriend.

She named her eldest child only in Will and there was no mention of her Husband in it. 

George Washington

George Washington, often called the “Founding Father of his Country”, was an American military officer, and statesman who served as the first President of the States.

Washington signed his will on July 9, 1799, six months before he died. Washington stated his each and every wish clearly without leaving doubt and confusion behind. 

His estate was pegged at about $780,000 in 1799 when he died.

Interesting things he added in his Will:

  1. George gave freedom to the slaves he owned.
  2. Gave the highest priority to his beloved wife which would not have been possible if he died intestate.
  3. He also remembered his close and distant relatives in his Will.
  4. He provided stocks for the establishment of schools for orphans.

If you are looking for estate planning strategies for high-net-worth individuals, you should definitely refer to his Will. 

Click here to download his complete Will.

Walt Disney

Born in 1901, Walt Disney, the man behind Disney Productions,  was an American animator, producer and entrepreneur. He had a net worth equal to roughly $1 billion at the time of his death in 1966 (after adjusting for inflation).

The last will and Testament of Disney is such that:

  1. 45% of his shares go to his family.
  2. 45% to a charitable foundation for the arts, and
  3. 10% to his relatives.

Walt Disney’s Will is something that an estate planning for ultra-high net worth should look like.

Click here to read his complete Will.

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison was an American Singer, songwriter and Poet who died at the age of 28 in 1971 due to a Heroin overdose. When Morrison died, his estate was worth around $80 million.

Despite his young age, 2 years before he died, Morrison created a will. It was a simple and poorly-drafted will, but a valid one.

He was unmarried but had a girlfriend named Pamela Courson, and in his will; he left everything to his girlfriend if she were alive. If she wasn't, then his estate was to be divided equally between his sister and brother. Since he was estranged from his parents, he didn't mention them in the will.

This could have not been possible if he had died intestate. All of his estate would have been transferred to the estranged family in the absence of Will. 

Click here to read his complete Will.

Elizabeth Edwards

Died in 2010 at the age of 61, Elizabeth Edwards was an American attorney, author and healthcare activist. He was married to the former U.S Senator, John Edwards.  Her net worth at the time of her death was roughly $1.5 million and she was estranged from her husband in the same year she died.

The interesting thing to note in her Will is that - She gave everything to her eldest Child and there was no mention of her Husband in it.

Click here to read her complete Will.

Lessons we learnt from these Wills.

  1. Be Specific in your Last Will and Testament. You should mention each and everything very clearly and extensively in your Will considering all the probabilities. Never leave room for conflict among your loved ones.
  2. Avoid a Hand-written Will. Take legal help from an attorney or create a will online. Hand-written Wills are easily challengeable in court.


Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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Who can make a Will?
In almost all States, every person who is 18 years of age or above can make a Will. However, there are few states where the age to make a valid Will is less than 18 years.
What are the benefits of creating a Will?
By creating a Will you ensure that certain assets and the properties you own are inherited by your family, friends, or even non-profits after you die. Will come into effect only after the death of the person who made it.
Should I wait for retirement to make a Will?
Life is unpredictable. The only certainty in life is Death. You should be prepared for the inevitable circumstances and start thinking about making a Will to avoid any legal and financial grief to your loved ones.
What does an Executor do?
An Executor is a person who manages your Will after your death. Following are the powers generally vested with the Executors: • Right of Retention • Right to Sale • Borrowing • Right to Invest • Appointment of Attorneys • Payment of debts
Can I write my own Will?
YES. No law prohibits you from writing your own Will. But it is difficult to incorporate all the possibilities by yourself. It is advised to take legal assistance to make an effective and legally sound Will because not every state considers a hand-written Will to be valid.
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