Celebs Who Cut Family Members Out Of Their Will

It's easy to assume that celebs' children and close family members have it made when it comes to their financial futures. However, as with any family, sometimes things get in the way, or people have different beliefs about wills and inheritances. Rather than pass down their hard-earned fortunes when they die, some stars have chosen instead to disinherit their nearest and sometimes not-so-dearest, leaving their cash to other people or organizations.  

As Psychology Today explains, the reasons for disinheriting family members can, in fact, range from having interpersonal problems with them to deciding that another cause might be better served by a fortune. But whatever the reason, it's definitely possible for feelings to be hurt in the wake of the deceased's wishes.

The following celebrities cut some of their family members out of their wills for different reasons. Read on to see whose fortunes won't be trickling down certain branches of their family trees.

Mickey Rooney's biological children received nothing

When actor Mickey Rooney died in April 2014 at the age of 93, it was widely assumed that he'd be leaving millions of dollars behind. After all, he'd been an iconic Hollywood figure since his childhood. However, as The Hollywood Reporter explained, he left just $18,000. Despite the small sum, his will kicked up a media firestorm, as it turned out that only his stepson Mark Aber would inherit anything, while his biological children were completely cut out.

In addition to the attention surrounding Rooney's will, THR described how, in the later years of his life, Rooney himself testified that he'd been the victim of elder abuse (though he never named names as to who had abused him). Numerous sources claimed to the magazine that his eighth wife, Jan, had been physically abusive to the actor.

By August 2015, The Guardian reported that Rooney's biological children had dropped their complaints over the actor's will and accepted that they wouldn't receive anything from their late father's estate.

Tony Curtis didn't give anything to his kids

Like Mickey Rooney, actor Tony Curtis was an icon of Hollywood's Golden Age, and, when he died in September 2010, it quickly came to light that he'd similarly left nothing for his five biological children, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Instead, he left everything to his sixth wife and widow, Jill Vandenberg Curtis. Per the Daily Mail, Curtis' will stated, "I acknowledge the existence of my children ... and have intentionally and with full knowledge chosen not to provide for them in this last will and testament."

In September 2011, Jill Curtis auctioned off a number of Curtis' belongings and was reportedly the sole beneficiary of the profits, though a portion did go to charity. As noted by Forbes, among the lot's almost 500 items were an Andy Warhol painting, memorabilia from films like Some Like it Hot, and a Firebird convertible. The auction reportedly generated over $1 million.

Daughter Allegra Curtis told The Hollywood Reporter, "Jill Curtis is the only beneficiary of this auction. She did not consult us. This is not what my dad would have wanted."

Simon Cowell's idea of legacy doesn't include money

If British paper the Mirror is to be believed, former American Idol judge and music producer Simon Cowell doesn't just play tough with reality show TV contestants and record deal hopefuls. He's also drawing a hard line in terms of what his son with New York City socialite Lauren Silverman (whom Cowell scandalously started dating while she was still married) will stand to inherit.

In September 2013, he told the paper that he'd already decided that he wouldn't be leaving his hundreds of millions of dollars to his son, Eric, who was born in February 2014. Instead, Cowell explained that he'd "leave my money to somebody," adding, "A charity, probably — kids and dogs. ... I don't believe in passing on from one generation to another."

He continued, "Your legacy has to be that hopefully you gave enough people an opportunity, so that they could do well, and you gave them your time, taught them what you know."

Gordon Ramsay will only help his kids get an apartment

Another day, another tough-as-nails reality TV star who has made a name for himself dressing down other people and who doesn't believe in inheritances. In this case, it's cantankerous Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay, star of MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen, and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

In April 2017, Ramsay told The Telegraph that, like Cowell, he wouldn't be leaving any of his money to his four children. "It's definitely not going to them, and that's not in a mean way; it's to not spoil them," Ramsay said. "The only thing I've agreed with [his wife] Tana is they get a 25 per cent deposit on a flat, but not the whole flat."

Ramsay also explained that his children are expected to make their own money and that the benefits of the lifestyle that he'd earned as a celebrity chef didn't necessarily extend to them. He told the paper, "They don't sit with us in first class. They haven't worked anywhere near hard enough to afford that."

Kevin O'Leary is on board (and in first class) with Ramsay

As one of the so-called sharks on Shark Tank, entrepreneur Kevin O'Leary's whole bag entails investing boatloads of his money in people's companies and products. And, like fellow reality stars Gordon Ramsay and Simon Cowell, he's adamant that he won't be leaving any money behind for his kids.

He told Chatelaine in February 2013, "I am not planning on giving my kids any of my wealth. They know that when their education is over, I'm pushing them out of the nest." He continued, "I am setting up generational skipping trusts so I can provide education for their children and their kids."

The Ramsay kids and the O'Leary kids could also bond over their shared experience of flying in coach while their parents fly in first class. O'Leary told CNBC Make It that when his son, Trevor, inquired why he has to sit in the back of the plane while O'Leary is in the front, he simply replies, "Trevor, you don't have any money." Not much use arguing with that, Trevor.

Joan Crawford was no Mommie Dearest to two of her adopted kids

As has been widely portrayed, Christina Crawford levied a number of charges against her adoptive mother, actress Joan Crawford, in her 1978 memoir Mommie Dearest. These included claims that Joan had been both emotionally and physically abusive for much of Christina's childhood. Christina's account of life with Crawford has been contested over the years, but what's undeniable is the fact that Joan completely cut Christina and son Christopher out of her will before her death.

As Vanity Fair described, when Crawford died in 1977, she reportedly left around $2 million behind, much of which went to various charities and to trusts for her other two adopted children. The will also stipulated that Christina and Christopher Crawford would receive nothing, stating, "It is my intention to make no provision herein for my son Christopher or my daughter Christina for reasons which are well known to them."

Despite Crawford's plainly stated disinheritance of her children, The Guardian reported in 2008 that Christina Crawford was able to successfully contest the will. According to Bankrate, she and her brother eventually received $55,000.

It wasn't quite one big happy family for Marlon Brando

According to The Age, at the time of his July 2004 death, actor Marlon Brando recognized 11 living children in his will, including Maimiti and Raiatua Brando, who "do not appear in most accounts of Brando's life and complex personal relationships."

However, in the document signed on Aug. 28, 2002, he cut out adopted daughter Petra Brando-Corval and his teenage grandson, the son of his late daughter Cheyenne Brando, writing, "I intentionally and with full knowledge of the consequences do not provide in my will or in my living trust for Cheyenne's issue or for Petra Brando-Corval, or for any of Petra's issue." Per The Age, Petra Brando-Corval was the daughter of a woman who worked as Brando's personal assistant from 1976 to 2001.

As The Telegraph reported, Brando's $21.6 million estate consisted of a $10 million Los Angeles hilltop home, $8.6 million in other properties, and $3 million in "other property said to include paintings, sketches and rare scripts."

Michael Jackson showed no love for his dad, Joe

As has been well documented, the late Joe Jackson's treatment of his son and music superstar Michael Jackson was infamously abusive over the years. And in the end, the terms of Michael's 2002 will reflected their fraught relationship. Just after Michael Jackson unexpectedly died of a drug overdose in June 2009, it was revealed that he'd completely cut Joe out of his will, with the estate split between various charities, Jackson's mother Katherine, and his three children (via People).  

Joe attempted to contest the will after Michael's death, to no avail. According to CBS News, a judge told Joe Jackson's lawyers at a November 2009 hearing, "I don't think [Joe Jackson] gets to step into this and create further litigation," adding, "Joe Jackson takes none of this estate. This is a decision his son made."

Notably, the will didn't mention any of Jackson's famous siblings, including Janet, Tito, and LaToya, either. Several of his brothers and sisters signed a letter in 2012 threatening legal action over their late brother's estate and claiming that its executors had stolen money from their mother. In 2017, Katherine Jackson herself filed suit against the executors.

Jackie Chan will be giving it all to charity

Rush Hour star Jackie Chan has made millions of dollars over the years, but it doesn't seem likely that his son, Jaycee Chan, will be seeing much of it at all ... or any of it, if reports are to be believed. In April 2011, Metro reported that Chan had appeared at an awards ceremony and announced that he would not pass any of his money down to Jaycee. Instead, he would leave it all to charity. Chan said of his son, "If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money." Chan also apparently mentioned that he wished he'd made his son join the army when he was younger in order to "temper his character." 

The younger Chan has run into a bit of trouble over the years. In February 2015, the BBC reported that Jaycee was released from a Chinese jail after serving a six-month sentence for "providing a shelter for others to abuse drugs," after being found with marijuana and testing positive for the drug.

He'll be watching you — but not handing over the dough

In a June 2014 interview with the Mail on Sunday Event magazine, singer Sting (real name Gordon Sumner) announced that none of his six children will likely receive any of his money when he passes away.

"I told them there won't be much money left because we are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn't much left," the singer explained. He added, "I certainly don't want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate."

Sting went on to describe the over 100 people on his payroll, including his crew, band, and staff, noting that he enjoys his fortune, as he feels it's hard-earned. He told the paper, "I was not given it. I earned it through hard work ... You try singing for two hours, getting on a plane every day." Fair enough, Sting.

David Cassidy played favorites

When former teen idol and The Partridge Family star David Cassidy died of organ failure in November 2017, it wasn't long before his will was made public. The Blast reported that, while he'd left approximately $150,000 in various assets to his son, Beau, he'd purposely cut out his daughter, Katie. The document, which was originally filed in 2004, stated, "It is my specific intent not to provide any benefits hereunder to Katherine Evelyn Cassidy and/or any descendant of Katherine Evelyn Cassidy." 

Before his death, Cassidy told People magazine in February 2017 that he had no relationship with his estranged daughter, whose mother is former model Sherry Williams. The celeb said, "I wasn't her father. I was her biological father but I didn't raise her. ... She has a completely different life." However, he gushed about Beau, stating, "He's just one of the best people you'll ever meet in your life."

A Pawn Stars patriarch left nothing for his son

According to The BlastPawn Stars cast member Richard "Old Man" Harrison's original will left the entirety of his fortune to his wife and three sons. However, he signed an updated version in 2017 which cut out one of his sons — Christopher Harrison. The updated doc simply stated, "I would like to express my love and affection for Christopher Keith Harrison; however, for purposes of this will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue." 

Richard Harrison passed away on June 25, 2018, after battling Parkinson's disease. As Entertainment Weekly reported, it wasn't immediately clear why he'd decided to cut Christopher out, and his will didn't reveal how much his estate would leave to his family. The celeb's son and fellow Pawn Stars cast member Rick Harrison, who was put in charge of his father's estate as an administrator, told Fox News"The family had previously discussed this information and it is a private matter." At the time of this writing, no further details about the disinheritance have been made available by the Harrison family.