He’s the mastermind behind legendary play The Odd Couple, which has gone on to enjoy huge success as a popular movie and TV series, and Neil Simon managed to build up an estate worth millions before he sadly died last month, aged 91.
However, according to the New York Times‘ Page Six, the famed playwright included a rare clause in his will that could leave his family members with nothing, should they make one grave mistake.
Simon reportedly left his fifth wife Elaine Joyce, 74, the huge sum of US$12million (AU$17million), along with two apartments at the Ritz Tower on Park Avenue and his original manuscripts.
The 45-page will, filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court on Wednesday and seen by the news outlet, reportedly also dictates that his adopted daughter Bryn Lander Simon will inherit US$1million, the American Cancer Society and The American Kidney Fund will get US$50,000 each and his nephew Michael Simon will get a further $10,000.
The news outlet then claims that his two biological daughters from his first marriage, Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon, will get “whatever’s left in his estate” once the gifts are all made – without specifying an exact figure for each of them.
However, they could end up with nothing, as it’s reported Simon’s will also included a rarely-seen clause that apparently disinherits anyone who objects to the document.
While his wife will also receive his watch collection and furniture, it was reportedly Simon’s final wish that she donates his manuscripts and original documents following his death.
“It is my hope and desire, without imposing any legal obligation, that my said spouse shall give the manuscripts to such one or more charitable organisations as my spouse shall determine in her sole and absolute direction,” the news outlet claims he wrote in the will.
The will is set to be approved at an October hearing.
Simon wrote more than 30 plays in his lifetime and nearly the same number of movie screenplays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. He’s perhaps best known for plays Barefoot in the Park (1963) and The Odd Couple (1965), for which he won a Tony Award.