It comes as no surprise that people don’t like talking about writing a Will. Given the choice between discussing a game of football; talking about where you would like to go on holiday or talking about writing a Will, for most people it’s pretty obvious which one would rank bottom.

Fundamentally people don’t like to discuss something that is linked to their own mortality.

However at Penrose Wills we want to change the way people think around making a Will. What we have consistently tried to do to date is to highlight (whether through social media, in appointments with our clients, or through networking and advertising) the benefits of writing a Will, as well as the consequences of not writing one.

Put simply – only by writing a Will can you decide what happens to your possessions when you eventually pass away.

Yet crucially this does not make it any more interesting.

As a result I have tried to make the topic more engaging and as a small way of doing this I have created an Instagram account called Famous Wills (@famouswills). Famous Wills looks back in time at Wills of the most famous people in history. For those of you who are interested in history, famous people or even have a curiosity over who inherited / who was omitted from the Wills of famous people, this page is worth having a look at.

Did you know that William Shakespeare only left his second best bed to his wife of 34 years Anne Hathaway? It seems strange that he didn’t leave her the best bed!

A woman Marilyn Monroe had only met once eventually became the main beneficiary of her Will. Robin Williams put a restriction in his Will that forbid anyone from using his name, past recordings, outtakes or any appearance of him for 25 years after his death.

John Lennon’s son Julian was effectively cut out of his Will whilst his wife Yoko Ono was essentially the main beneficiary.

Aretha Franklin left three Wills – one of which was stuffed beneath the cushions of a sofa and also Henry VIII put a provision in his Will where if the line of succession wasn’t continued by the King’s children by his marriages then it should be regulated by his Last Will & Testament. This was seen as a way of him trying to rule from beyond the grave.

We also take a look at other legends of history such as Sir Winston Churchill, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Beatrix Potter, Charles Darwin, Rosa Parks, Coco Chanel as well as many others. We examine the lives of those who were universally well received as well as others who were slightly more controversial and even those who weren’t so popular.

If you’re curious and want something new to read on Instagram, give us a follow @famouswills.

Jamie Howell – Director
Penrose Wills
2nd June 2020