One of the greatest aspects of creating your estate plan is the ability to write anything you want in your documents. Most of the time, estate planning documents are very cut and dry. They outline who is to administer the estate, the distribution of the estate, and list the intended beneficiaries.
Sometimes, individuals include statements or requests that have wandered away from the path of convention.
One such individual was Comedian, David Brenner. I stumbled upon an article written by Richard Johnson on Page Six, entitled “Comedian David’s Brenner’s Hilarious Last Will” that detailed the Comedian’s will.
According to Johnson’s article, Brenner’s will instructed he be buried in jeans and a nice shirt, in plain box, with a small stone on the grave site that read “Here Lies David Brenner. He lived, he died, but MAN DID HE LIVE!” on one side and “If this is supposed to be a joke- I don’t get it” on the other.
Brenner also reportedly requested to have one hundred dollars, in small bills, placed inside his left sock “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going”.
And as any true comedian, his farewell statement read: “To those who have been kind to me and loved me, thank you. To those who were not kind and didn’t love me, I hope you’re next!”
Does having these jokes in his document invalidate it? No. It most certainly does not. You have the right to include anything you wish in your documents. Now, your attorney will probably caution you in regards to validity of certain requests you might make, but for the most part, statements and requests like Brenner’s, are usually fine.
It is nice to think that even from beyond the grave, you might be able to bring a smile to your loved ones faces one last time.