Who Inherited Patsy Cline's Fortune After She Died?

Country legend Patsy Cline sat on a plane and began to write. She wasn't penning a new hit tune, but rather, on that day in April 1961, while on her way to perform a concert in Kansas City, Kansas, she began to write out her last will and testament on Delta Airlines stationery, according to "Patsy Cline: The Making of an Icon." She wanted the bulk of her estate to go to her mother, Hilda Hensley, along with her two children, Julie and Allen, until they were 18. Though Cline was married to a man named Charlie Dick, she and Dick had a turbulent relationship, according to The Buffalo News. To Dick, she left some furniture and their car.

Two years later, on March 5, 1963, Cline and three others died when the plane her manager Randy Hughes was flying crashed into a wooded hillside in bad weather in Camden, Tennessee, per the Nashville Banner. They were headed to Nashville from another concert in Kansas City, Kansas. Because Cline never filed the will everything went to her husband.

Patsy's husband Charlie Dick

Why Patsy Cline penned her will two years before her death as she sat on a plane is a bit of a mystery. Douglas Gomery, the author of "Patsy Cline: the Making of an Icon," believed she may have been experiencing postpartum depression. She'd given birth to her son Allen a few months earlier and was already back on the road by that spring to support her family. Other sources believe Cline had a premonition of her death, per Good Housekeeping.

Because Cline never filed the handwritten will, when her life was tragically cut short at age 30, she died without a legal will and the case went to probate court, according to Gomery's book. Cline's estate was worth the equivalent of $4.5 million today — per Equity Atlas — and under Tennessee law Charlie Dick, as Cline's husband, inherited her estate. Per Cline's wishes, Dick initially left his children in the care of her mother, Hilda Hensley.

Patsy's Mother got next to nothing

While Charlie Dick initially respected Patsy Cline's wish for her mother Hilda Hensley to care for her two children, Julie and Allen, just four and two at the time of their mother's death, her stipulation that Hensley receive the bulk of her estate to help care for the children didn't happen, according to "Patsy Cline: the Making of an Icon."

Hensley attempted to have her daughter's handwritten will legalized, but Dick prevented it from happening, according to "Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline." Charlie Dick remarried in 1965 and took Julie and Allen to live with his new wife in Nashville. The only thing Hensley inherited was her daughter's costumes, many that Hensley had sewn herself, per "Patsy Cline: the Making of an Icon." Hensley later returned to her former job as a seamstress. Charlie Dick died in 2015, according to The Tennessean after a life spent keeping Cline's memory alive. "Sixty years later, people still love Patsy Cline, and he had a big part in that ... it could have all died with the crash but he made sure that her music stayed out there," singer Mandy Barnett told the newspaper.