Upon her death, Marilyn Monroe left the bulk of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. Lee Strasberg welcomed Monroe into his acting studio, and took her under his wing. Strasberg and his wife, Paula, treated Monroe like their daughter. When she left the bulk of her estate to Strasberg, she made the bequest to Strasberg with special instructions and wishes that upon his death he distribute the bequest to charity.
However, when Strasberg died in 1982, his estate (including Monroe’s bequest) went to Strasberg’s second wife, Anna. All of Monroe’s estate, including licensing and royalty fees went to Anna, a complete stranger to Marilyn, and not to charity. Monroe’s estate generates over $1,000,000 annually. Don’t make the mistake Marilyn Monroe made, which was to leave her estate to unintended heirs. Make your testamentary wishes clear and explicit, so that your assets do not go to unintended heirs.