Richard Attenborough passed away in August of last year, and his estate's probate records have recently been made public. They reveal that his estate in the United Kingdom was worth approximately £1.5 million, although this does not include the value of his foreign assets and any assets held in trust.
However, his will also revealed that Attenborough requested that his body be cremated.
His wish was that one-third of his remains be placed at his Scottish estate and another third be taken to an estate in France. The final third of his remains he wants intermingled with the remains of his daughter and granddaughter at a church near Attenborough's estate in the UK.
The daughter and granddaughter perished in the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004.
The Telegraph has more on this story in an article titled "Richard Attenborough's last request: place my ashes with my daughter and granddaughter." One thing that this story illustrates is that a will can be more than just a dry, legal document that divides property. In fact, a will can also be used to create an emotional legacy and let people know what is important to you.
As any father would be, it is clear that Attenborough was deeply affected by the tragic loss of his daughter and granddaughter. By using his will as the vehicle by which he dictated how his remains were to be treated, Attenborough shared that with the entire world.
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure the important details of your last wishes are legally covered.
Reference: Telegraph (October 4, 2015) "Richard Attenborough's last request: place my ashes with my daughter and granddaughter."