Barbara Cartland, who sold 600 million books, has left no money in her will.
The 99-year-old's £1,139,123 estate will be worth nothing after her debts and liabilities are paid.
The dame may have given out her cash before she died, to avoid inheritance tax.
It is also thought she was not as well off as she made out - her book sales had plummetted in recent years.
Dame Cartland's mansion near Hatfield will go to her son Glen McCorquodale, although the lease runs out in 2015..
She left small gifts for her staff and asked that her clothes be "tidied up" and auctioned.
She suggested many might be museum pieces.
Her books and manuscripts will be shared between Mr McCorquodale and his brother Ian, but there is no mention in the will of her daughter Countess Raine Spencer.