Bizarre Tales of Inheritance


When someone inherits assets of some sort, it typically goes something like this: an elderly person has either left money/valuables or sentimental objects to family and loved ones.

The following stories are anything but typical.

Here are some of the most bewildering chronicles of unexpected money mother loads bequeathed to some truly fortuitous folk.  

Now That’s a Tip

One doesn’t go into the table-waiting field at the “Dink Diner” in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with the expectation of really raking it in.  However, that’s exactly what happened to then high school student Cara Woods, who was working night shifts there after soccer practice each day.  A kind, yet sometimes cantankerous elderly regular, the late Bill Cruxton, took quite a shine to the friendly Cara.  So much so, that the childless Cruxton had his will rewritten to include Cara as the sole beneficiary to his half a million dollar estate.  Pays to be nice sometimes.

photo via Associated Press

Don’t Clean for Me, Argentina

This tale is full of thrills, chills…and mopping spills.  One time maid, Eva Paole (not the first newsworthy “Eva P.” that Argentina has seen), allegedly heard a “rumor” that her lineage was not what she always believe it to be.  Paole’s mother apparently had a clandestine affair with an illustrious baron, the now deceased Rufino Otero.  Paole embarked on what would become a tempestuous, decade long legal battle to find out her true identity…and that’s when things got weird.    When investigators unearthed Otero’s tomb to collect evidence for DNA testing, they found that his corpse had been recently switched with an impostor’s.  Authorities then had to go back a whole other generation, as they exhumed Otero’s mother’s sarcophagus for examination.  Hard DNA data confirmed that Paole truly was a land prosperous Otero, and she walked away from the whole dramatic affair 40 million dollars richer.

From Maid to Paid
photo credit Gentileza Diario La Arena

The Prankster Up North!

Charles Vance Millar was certainly ahead of his time.  The millionaire Canadian lawyer, financier and practical joke aficionado was known for his own personal, turn of the century version of “Punkd.”  He loved to play pranks on people, especially ones that highlighted their avaricious natures.  He would routinely leave bills on the ground and secretly watch people as they surreptitiously snatched them up.  His grand high jink laden finale came in the form of his final will and testament.  Some of the stand out clauses included: the “joint lifetime tenancy” of Millar’s Jamaican vacation home given to three chaps who were known to adamantly hate each other, the $25,000 in Ontario Jockey Club stock gifted to three passionate anti-horse racing advocates, the $700,000 in O’Keefe Brewery stock, a Catholic company, given to seven Protestant ministers who were big temperance campaigners (only redeemed if they actively participated in running the business).  The one thing that garnered Millar the most infamy though was this item: ten years after Millar’s death, the Canadian woman who had the most children in that time would collect the liquidated assets of his entire fortune.  Ten years and thirty six kids later (it was a 4-way tie; each momma supplying 9 offspring), the childless Millar’s undisclosed estate amount was equally divided among the winners.  This baby making fiasco became known as “The Great Stork Derby,” and never since have Canadian ladies been so frisky.

photo via Wikipedia
photo via Wikipedia

From Filthy to Filthy Rich

Hungarian cave dwellers, Zsolt and Geza Peladi, were having what you might call a ‘rough go at it.’  Literally living in a hollowed out rock cavern and selling found scrap metal to survive, the two brothers only had faint memories of a an alleged wealthy faction of family on their maternal side.  Having been abandoned by their mother at an early age, they never gave it too much thought.  Until the day that charity workers tracked them down and gave them the groundbreaking news: grandma was loaded, and now she was no more.  Their estranged mother was also deceased and so the two bros, and a sis living in the States, were the only heirs to the fortune.  That’s 4 BILLION British Pounds split three ways.  Not a bad day for the spelunkers.

Random Fortune Benefactor

With a bank account as long as his name, Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara wasn’t content to leave his vast sum of wealth to any of the usual outlets.  The Portuguese man, who was described as a lonely, often inebriated fellow, didn’t have a wife, children or hardly any friends.  When it came time for this illegitimate son of a Lisbon aristocrat to draw up his will, Luis didn’t opt to leave his money to charity or even for a fountain or something erected in his name.  He simply went to his lawyer’s office, plucked up a phone book…and randomly plunked his finger down on seventy strangers’ names.  The will was officially notarized and when LCDNCDC eventually passed from excessive alcohol consumption, the seventy fortunate recipients got the most unexpected phone calls of their lives.  It is mostly believed Luis did this because he didn’t want any of his money going to the state, as he suspected the government of somehow pilfering his assets over the course of his widely eccentric life.  Lesson: sometimes it’s good to be listed.

From Stray to Paid

Not everyone who inherits a gargantuan sum of money is human.  Such is the case with Tomasso, the world’s wealthiest cat (and most likely best dressed, since he’s Italian).  Widowed, childless and sufficiently rich, Roman heiress Maria Assunta passed on to the great beyond at the age of 94, but not before naming Tomasso as the solitary beneficiary of her entire estate: properties valued at 13.4 million dollars.  However, Italian law states that animals can not receive inheritance directly (as they may spend it all on prosciutto), so a trustee had to be named.  This came in the form of Signora Assunta’s nurse and fellow cat lady, Stefania.  So, in essence, this woman controls the whole fortune.  The best part: Assunta randomly met Stefania one day in a park, and Tomasso was a sickly stray found skulking around the streets of Roma.  The two now live a life of fine cuisine and opulent European luxury together.

Now that’s amore.

Greedy Grandpa’s Gems

Rounding out our compilation is an odd anecdote that reads like the opening plot of a tween adventure book.  A grumpy grandfather was quite displeased with his daughter for marrying outside of the familial religion, and completely disowned her.  However, the crotchety old man, identified only as “Samuel – the Close Minded Scrooge,” was sitting on quite a huge fortune.  He only met his grandson, “Josh,” a handful of times, but somehow the lad charmed the crusty old timer.  Samuel named Josh as the primary recipient of all his equity, which was comprised of 80 acres of farmable land and a 36 acre island…with a thermos filled with precious gemstones…somewhere buried below the surface.  This occurred in 2007, and the mysterious thermos of riches has yet to be unearthed – yet the unyielding Josh is still searching.  Stubbornness must be an inherited trait.

If you ever find yourself in the pool of people who’ve unexpectedly inherited vast fortunes and prized items, kudos to you.  However, if you’ve been handed down a diamond, you may not know its exact worth (unlike the improbable heroes of the previous stories).  Finding out its precise value can be daunting…if you don’t know where to look.  Thankfully you have Diamond Lighthouse at your disposal.  Getting an accurate appraisal of your diamond  has never been easier – as well as actually receiving the most money possible for it.  Once you’ve successfully converted that diamond into a liquid asset, you will also be free to one day pass it on to a waiter, stranger or cat.

Find out more right here.


-Joe Leone 


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