Here's Who Inherited Liberace's Money After He Died

American pianist Liberace, known for his gaudy stage outfits as much as his piano playing, died on February 4, 1987. The larger-than-life performer was 67 at the time of his death, caused by complications from AIDS. Per UPI, Liberace made his final will on January 22, 1987, less than one month before his death. He was said to have been worth $115 million, though the true extent of Liberace's assets is difficult to discern due to his flamboyant personality and tendency to exaggerate. Per the Los Angeles Times, the bulk of Liberace's estate went to the Liberace Foundation for the Creative and Performing Arts, which was founded in 1976.

He also left his sister, his dogs, his manager, his companion, and his maid various sums of money and items. However, an ugly legal battle began when Ina Liberace, Lester Liberace, Harry Liberace, and Rudolph Liberace Jr., all children of his brother Rudy who had passed 20 years prior, were left out of the will. Intriguingly, per the Los Angeles Times, their mother Isabel was gifted one of the entertainer's homes located in North Hollywood.

Liberace's niece and nephews fought back against not being included

On March 20, 1987, Liberace's three nephews and his niece appeared in a Las Vegas court to protest being left out of their uncle's will. Despite Ina saying she and her brothers were "very close to Uncle Lee" (via UPI), this doesn't seem to have been the case. Via the Los Angeles Times, George Rudiak, the representative lawyer for the Liberace estate, stated, "I understand they embarrassed him at his mother's funeral in 1980. I think he wrote them off at that time."

Additionally, per the above UPI article, attorney Richard Oshin, a specialist in probate and estate planning who was hired in January 1987 specifically to work on Liberace's final will, shut down claims that Liberace perhaps wasn't in the right headspace when signing the will. "Prior to the final will there was a 1982 will and several codicils, all of the previous documents left out the children," he stated. Ultimately, the case was dismissed, with the judge having no sympathy for Liberace's niece and nephews at all.

The piano player left large sums of money to friends and family

Another legal battle, in which a lot of Liberace's secrets were laid bare, took place in 1988. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the petition was to remove Joel Strote as the trustee of Liberace's estate. It was brought forward by Liberace's sister, his companion Cary James, his maid, his personal manager, and his cook, who all testified that Strote had stripped them of what Liberace had wanted to give them. Their petition failed, though, as mentioned, Liberace did leave some money and gifts to some of the above plaintiffs.

Alongside giving his North Hollywood house to his sister-in-law, Liberace generously left his sister a sum of more than $500,000 (the exact sum is not known). In addition to his sister, he gifted his manager $60,000, his maid $5,000, and his cook a car as well as a house. The entertainer also gave his dogs, whom he was famously close to, $50,000. Finally, Liberace left James two automobiles as well as $250,000. James was considered to be Liberace's partner, although this information was never confirmed.