A wealthy Portuguese bachelor, who had no children, left his fortune to 70 strangers selected at random from a telephone book, a newspaper has reported.
Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara drew up his unusual will in 1988 in front of two witnesses at a Lisbon registry office, 13 years before he died of natural causes at the age of 42, reported the weekly newspaper, Sol, on Saturday.
“I am sure he just wanted to create confusion by leaving his belongings to strangers. That amused him,” said one of the witnesses and one of the man’s few friends, Anibal Castro Vila.
The Age (Australia):
Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara boasted of his noble Portuguese lineage, but was not a happy man.
As the illegitimate and unloved son of an aristocratic woman, he was rich but had few friends and no offspring of his own.
So when it came to writing out his will almost 20 years ago, he asked a Portuguese notary for a copy of the Lisbon phone book and plucked out names at random.
Now, with the unhappy man having drunk himself into the grave, his randomly chosen heirs are receiving lawyers’ letters telling them they can claim a share of his fortune.
“I thought it was some kind of cruel joke,” a 70-year-old woman called Helena told Portugal’s Sol newspaper. “I’d never heard of the man.”
Pensioner Vitor Mendes told the newspaper: “I rang the lawyer and he said the man just picked names out of the phone book. We can’t be due to get that much. He put down 70 names!”
But with a 12-room apartment in central Lisbon, a house near the northern town of Guimaraes, a couple of healthy bank accounts, a luxury car and two motorbikes to his name, Mr da Camara’s will means that his random heirs should walk away with several thousand euros each.
He was brought up by a nanny and inherited valuable real estate from his grandmother, which he slowly sold off to fund his great passions: motorbikes, shooting and drinking.
“He was determined that nothing should go to the state, which he thought had been robbing him of money all his life,” said Anibal Castro, a former friend who witnessed the will.