TV legend Regis Philbin left his longtime wife Joy in charge of his $150 million fortune and only Radar has exclusively obtained the talk show host’s explosive and shocking last will and testament.
In court documents obtained by Radar, the lovable funny man informed the court he was appointing his wife Joy as the head of his estate.
He wrote in the 17-page document signed on January 15, 2015, “I appoint my spouse, Bette Joy Philbin, as my Executor of this Will.” The documents were filed in New York Surrogate’s Court.
Regis died of natural causes on July 25. 2020 at age 88 in Connecticut after battling coronary artery disease and hypertension. In court documents, it reveals he left behind $16.5 million in property and millions more in stocks, bonds, cash.
A large portion of his estate was placed into a trust which contains assets that are not listed in the will.
Regis, who holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on television, was worth an estimated $150 million.
Regis, who spent decades as a daytime talk show staple with Kathie Lee Gifford and then with Kelly Ripa and later as the prime-time host of the popular game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire also had a private living trust detailing how his money would be distributed to family and friends, according to the court documents
The court documents also mention Regis’ children from his first marriage, his now-dead disabled son Danny, and Amy, who he allegedly neglected because Joy wanted nothing to do with them after he divorced their mother, Catherine Faylen in 1969.
Regis married Joy one year after the split and Danny, who was born with spinal cord defect, was placed in a home for mentally challenged kids. Yet he overcame his disability to become a successful public affairs worker for the Pentagon, according to published reports.
The father and son eventually reconciled and remained in regular contact before Danny died from natural causes on Nov. 7, 2014 – but Regis did NOT attend the funeral! The court documents include Danny’s death certificate explaining there is “no issue” with him making a claim on the fortune.
Amy is listed as beneficiary under the revocable trust Regis signed in 2015, the documents show.
Regis however wanted to make sure the cash remained in the hands of Joy and their daughters.
“If my spouse shall not qualify or, having qualified, at any time shall not continue to act, then I appoint my daughter Joanne Philbin as successor Executor of this Will,” the court documents state. “If Joanne Philbin shall not qualify or, having qualified, at any time shall not continue to act, then I appoint my daughter, Jennifer Philbin, as successor Executor of this Will," the documents read.
Joy was appointed executor on October 29, 2020, by Judge Rita Mella. Regis’ estate attorney Saverio V. Cereste, of the white shoe Park Ave. firm Meister Seelig & Fein LLP, said “I have no comment, thank you,” when contacted by Radar.