Who Did Doris Day Leave Her Money to 2: Unveiling the Beneficiaries of the Late Hollywood Icon’s Estate

In August 2021, the world lost a beloved Hollywood icon, Doris Day. The actress, known for her charming roles in films such as “Pillow Talk” and “Calamity Jane,” left behind a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come. But what many people are curious about is who did Doris Day leave her money to? It’s a question that has been circulating in the media, and I’m here to shed some light on the matter.

Doris Day was a talented actress and singer who rose to fame in the 1950s and 60s. Throughout her career, she starred in over 40 films and released 29 studio albums. She was also a philanthropist who dedicated her life to animal welfare, founding the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978. With such an impressive resume, you might wonder who was lucky enough to be the recipient of her fortune. Well, it turns out that Doris Day had a generous heart until the end. In her will, she left the majority of her estate to two beneficiaries – her animal charity and her son, Terry Melcher.

Many fans of Doris Day have been left wondering how much she was worth and what her final wishes were. The actress was notoriously private about her finances and personal life, so it’s no surprise that her final will and testament have been shrouded in mystery. However, we can rest assured that her legacy will live on through her beloved animal charity and her son. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at who Terry Melcher is and how Doris Day’s estate will support her passion for animal welfare. So, sit back, relax, and let’s explore the fascinating life of one of Hollywood’s brightest stars and her final wishes.

Doris Day’s Estate Planning

After the passing of beloved actress and animal rights activist Doris Day, many fans were left wondering who would inherit her fortune. Day’s estate planning was carefully thought out and executed to ensure her wishes were followed after her death.

  • Day established the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978 to support animal welfare. As part of her estate planning, she left a significant portion of her estate to the foundation to continue its mission.
  • Day had no children or living relatives, so her remaining assets were left to close friends and staff members who had been a part of her life for many years.
  • One of the main goals of Day’s estate planning was to avoid any disputes or legal battles over her assets. She made sure to have a clear and detailed will to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

In addition to leaving her estate to loved ones and her foundation, Day also had a trust in place to handle any financial matters and ensure her privacy was protected after her death.

As a private person, Day’s estate planning included measures to maintain her privacy after her death. The details of her final wishes and the exact amounts left to beneficiaries were kept confidential.

Beneficiaries of Doris Day’s Estate: Inheritance:
Doris Day Animal Foundation Significant portion of her estate
Close Friends and Staff Members Remaining assets

Through her estate planning, Doris Day was able to ensure her legacy and dedication to animal welfare would continue even after her death. Additionally, her wishes were followed and her privacy respected, allowing her to rest in peace.

Personal life and legacy of Doris Day

Doris Day was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist known for her wholesome girl-next-door image and romantic comedies in the 1950s and 1960s. She passed away on May 13, 2019, at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy as one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses. Throughout her life, Day was known for her incredible talent and her fierce dedication to animal welfare causes.

  • Personal life
  • Legacy

Personal life

Day was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 3, 1922, as Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff. She began her career as a singer, performing with big bands in the 1940s, before transitioning to acting in the 1950s. Day was married four times and had one child, Terry Melcher, who passed away in 2004. Despite her fame, Day was known for her private life and kept many of her personal relationships out of the public eye.


One of Day’s most enduring legacies was her work in animal welfare. She was a lifelong animal lover and dedicated much of her time and money to animal welfare causes. In 1978, Day founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation, which aimed to help animals in need. She also helped establish the Doris Day Animal League in 1987, which advocated for animal welfare legislation in the United States.

Cause Foundation/League
Animal welfare Doris Day Pet Foundation
Animal welfare legislation Doris Day Animal League

Day’s dedication to animal welfare continued throughout her life, and she often spoke about her love for animals in interviews and public appearances. Her legacy as an animal welfare advocate is still felt today, and her work has inspired countless others to get involved in animal welfare causes.

Famous people who disinherited their children

It’s common for famous people to accumulate considerable wealth throughout their lifetime. While many of them choose to leave their assets to their children, others decide to leave their fortunes to other individuals, organizations, or charities. Here are some famous people who disinherited their children:

  • Bill Gates: The founder of Microsoft has been vocal about his decision to leave a minimal amount of his estimated $130 billion estate to his three children. Gates has stated that he intends to donate the majority of his fortune to charity instead.
  • Jackie Chan: The Hong Kong actor, known for his martial arts films, announced in 2011 that he was leaving his entire fortune to charity. While he has acknowledged his estranged daughter, he explained that he did not want his wealth to ruin her life.
  • Andrew Carnegie: The American industrialist and philanthropist, who was once the richest man in the world, chose to leave very little of his wealth to his daughter. Instead, he donated the majority of his fortune to charities such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

While disinheriting children can be controversial, it’s important to note that each person’s decision regarding their estate is deeply personal and should be respected. In some cases, the decision may be based on a desire to protect the children from the negative impact of vast wealth, while in others, it may be driven by a passion for philanthropy and a desire to make a lasting impact on the world.

When making decisions about their estate, famous people and everyday individuals alike should consult closely with their financial advisors and legal professionals to ensure that their wishes are properly reflected in their estate planning documents.

Reasons for disinheriting children

There are a few reasons why someone might decide to disinherit their children, including:

  • Family Conflict: In some cases, there may be unresolved issues or conflicts within a family that lead a person to decide against leaving assets to their children.
  • Personal Beliefs: Some individuals may hold strong personal beliefs around the use of wealth or the value of hard work, and this can lead them to disinherit their children in favor of other beneficiaries or charitable causes.
  • Desire to avoid financial ruin: In some cases, parents may worry that leaving a significant inheritance to their children could hurt rather than help them in the long run. A large influx of cash can lead to mismanagement, addiction, or other issues that could negatively affect the child’s life and wellbeing.

While disinheriting children is not the norm, it is a decision that many people make based on their unique circumstances, beliefs, and values.

Disinheriting children – What you need to know

If you are considering disinheriting your children, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the process and any potential legal or financial implications. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You will need to draft a valid will or trust that reflects your wishes regarding your estate. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is essential to ensure that your documents are legally enforceable and comprehensive.
  • Disinheriting children can have tax implications, so it’s important to speak with a financial advisor or accounting professional to understand how this decision may impact your estate and your beneficiaries.
  • Disinheriting children can cause emotional pain and conflict within your family, so it’s important to have clear and open communication with your children about your intentions and reasoning.

By carefully considering the potential implications of disinheriting your children, you can make an informed decision that reflects your values, beliefs, and wishes for your estate.

Famous Person Reason for Disinheriting
Joan Crawford Feud with Children
Charles Dickens Disapproving of Children
George Bernard Shaw Disliked Doctrine of Primogeniture
Mark Twain Disagreement with Children’s Actions
Janet Jackson Relationship Strain with Family Members

It’s important to note that disinheriting children is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. Discussing your intentions with your family, working with trusted legal and financial professionals, and carefully considering the implications of your decision are essential steps in the estate planning process.

The concept of Executor in a Will

When creating a will, it’s essential to specify who will oversee the distribution of your assets and carry out your wishes. This person is called an executor, and their role is to manage your estate, pay outstanding debts, and distribute assets to beneficiaries. Choosing an appropriate executor is crucial, and there are a few things to consider before appointing someone to this role.

  • Trustworthiness: First and foremost, your executor should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes and manage your affairs responsibly.
  • Availability: It’s important to choose someone who is willing and able to take on the responsibilities of an executor. This role can be time-consuming and demanding.
  • Financial acumen: An executor should have some degree of financial knowledge to manage your estate effectively, pay off any outstanding debts, and distribute assets in a way that aligns with your wishes.

Once you’ve chosen an executor, it’s essential to outline their responsibilities clearly. This includes instructions on how to manage your assets, pay off debts, and distribute your estate. You should also include specific details outlining how your assets should be distributed and to whom. This information should be included in your will and kept up to date to reflect any changes in your circumstances or wishes.

Choosing an executor is a crucial part of estate planning, and it’s essential to consider all factors before making a decision. A skilled and trustworthy executor can help ensure that your final wishes are carried out and that your assets are distributed appropriately.

Key Takeaways
• An executor is responsible for managing your estate, paying off debts and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
• When choosing an executor, it’s important to consider their trustworthiness, availability, and financial knowledge.
• You should outline your executor’s responsibilities clearly in your will and ensure that it reflects any changes to your circumstances or wishes.

Charitable giving in the Will

One of the most remarkable aspects of Doris Day’s life, apart from her acting and singing careers, was her dedication to animal welfare. As an ardent animal rights activist, she founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978, which aimed to rescue and provide medical care for animals in need. With her philanthropic efforts, Day impacted the world in a significant way: Thousands of animals were rescued, rehabilitated, and given a second chance at life.

In her Will, Day left much of her estate to her foundation. Though the exact amount of money she left has not been disclosed, it is estimated that it could be worth millions of dollars. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is expected to receive the majority of Day’s fortune and continue her legacy of animal welfare.

Charitable giving in the Will

  • After providing for loved ones, some people choose to leave a portion of their estate to a charity or multiple charities through their Will.
  • Charitable giving in a Will is also known as a bequest.
  • Charitable bequests can be a way to leave a lasting impact and help ensure the causes you care about will continue to be supported, even after you are gone.

Charitable giving in the Will

When making a charitable bequest, donors can choose the type of gift they want to leave, such as:

  • A particular sum of money or property
  • A percentage of their estate or residuary estate
  • A specific item or asset, such as stocks or real estate

Donors can also choose the conditions under which their gift is given, such as an endowment or funding for a particular program or project.

Charitable giving in the Will

If you are interested in leaving a charitable bequest, it is recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to ensure your wishes are carried out. Additionally, it can be beneficial to speak with the charity you are considering to ensure that your gift will make the greatest impact possible and align with their mission and values.

Advantages Disadvantages
Can leave a significant legacy and impact on a cause important to the donor May impact the inheritance of loved ones
Can provide tax benefits for the estate May require extensive legal and financial planning
Can ensure that a charity the donor supports receives adequate funding and support The charity receiving the gift may change its mission or cease to exist, rendering the gift obsolete

Charitable giving in a Will can be a powerful way to leave a lasting impact and continue to support the causes that mattered to you during your lifetime.

Taxes on Inheritance and Estate

When a loved one passes away and leaves behind an inheritance or estate, taxes may come into play. Here are some important things to know:

  • Not all inheritances are subject to inheritance taxes. In fact, only six states even have an inheritance tax: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • However, even if your loved one lived in a state without inheritance tax, there may still be federal estate tax to consider. This tax is based on the total value of the estate and is only imposed on estates worth more than $11.4 million as of 2019.
  • If your loved one’s estate is subject to estate tax, the executor of the estate will be responsible for filing a federal estate tax return. This return is due within nine months of the decedent’s passing.

It’s important to note that inheritance and estate taxes are separate from income taxes. Any inheritance you receive is not considered taxable income, but any earnings generated by that inheritance (such as interest on a bank account) are subject to income tax.

If you’re concerned about the tax implications of inheriting from a loved one’s estate, it’s a good idea to speak with a trusted financial advisor or attorney. They can help guide you through the process and ensure you understand your obligations and opportunities.

Estate Value Top Tax Rate Exemption Amount
$0-$10,000 18% $0
$10,001-$20,000 20% $1,800
$20,001-$40,000 22% $3,800
$40,001-$60,000 24% $8,200
$60,001-$80,000 26% $13,000
$80,001-$100,000 28% $18,000
$100,001-$150,000 30% $23,400
$150,001-$250,000 32% $38,800
$250,001-$500,000 34% $70,800
$500,001-$750,000 37% $155,800
$750,001-$1 million 39% $248,300
Over $1 million 40% $345,800

The table above shows the current federal estate tax rates and exemption amounts. Keep in mind that these numbers can change over time, so it’s important to stay up to date if you’re dealing with an estate that may be subject to federal estate tax.

Legal disputes over wills and trusts

Legal disputes over wills and trusts can be expensive and time-consuming. They occur when the deceased’s family and beneficiaries fight over the distribution of the assets left behind. Let’s take a look at some common legal disputes that arise in these situations.

Common legal disputes over wills and trusts

  • Undue influence: This dispute arises when someone exerted undue influence over the deceased when they were making their will or trust. It can be challenging to prove, but if successful, this dispute can result in the nullification of the will or trust.
  • Capacity: This dispute arises when someone questions the deceased’s mental capacity when they were making their will or trust. They may argue that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were doing when they made their will or trust. If successful, this dispute can result in the nullification of the will or trust.
  • Interpretation: This dispute arises when there is a disagreement over the interpretation of the deceased’s will or trust. The dispute may be over the meaning of certain terms or who is entitled to certain assets.

How to avoid legal disputes over wills and trusts

There are several things you can do to minimize the risk of legal disputes over your will or trust:

  • Clearly state your intentions: Be specific about who is entitled to which assets and how they should be distributed.
  • Update your will or trust regularly: Make sure your will or trust reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
  • Get professional advice: Consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to ensure your will or trust is valid and legally binding.

A real-life example: Doris Day’s estate

After her death in 2019, it was discovered that Doris Day left her $300 million estate to the Doris Day Animal Foundation. The organization was tasked with ensuring that Day’s pets were well taken care of for the rest of their lives.

Beneficiary Amount
Doris Day Animal Foundation $300 million

Day’s only child, Terry Melcher, passed away in 2004, and it is unclear whether he was left anything in her will. There were no legal disputes over Day’s estate as her will was clear and legally binding.

FAQs: Who Did Doris Day Leave Her Money to 2?

1. Did Doris Day have any children to leave her money to?

No, Doris Day did not have any children.

2. Who did Doris Day leave her money to?

Doris Day left her estate, including her money and property, to the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

3. What is the Doris Day Animal Foundation?

The Doris Day Animal Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps animals by providing grants to other non-profit organizations, providing resources for animal welfare legislation, and funding educational programs.

4. How much money did Doris Day leave to the foundation?

The exact amount of money that Doris Day left to the foundation is not known, but it is estimated to be at least $200 million.

5. Did Doris Day have any other beneficiaries?

No, Doris Day did not have any other beneficiaries.

6. What happens to the money now that it’s been left to the foundation?

The money will be used by the foundation to continue its work of helping animals in need.

Closing: Thank You for Reading!

Now that you know who Doris Day left her money to, you can appreciate the big heart she had for animals throughout her life. The Doris Day Animal Foundation will continue her legacy of helping animals in need with the money she left behind. Thank you for reading, and please visit us again for more interesting articles.