George Bernard Shaw's Alphabetical Bequest
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) was so concerned about the vagaries of English spelling, he willed a portion of his wealth to fund the creation of a new 40 letter phonetic alphabet for the English language. However, the money available was not enough to support the project, so it was neglected for a time. This changed when his estate began earning significant royalties from the rights to Pygmalion after My Fair Lady—the musical became a hit. However, the Public Trustee found the intended trust to be invalid because its intent was to serve a private interest instead of a charitable purpose, and as a non-charitable purpose trust, it could not be enforced because it failed to satisfy the beneficiary principle.
In the end an out-of-court settlement granted only £8600 for promoting the new alphabet, which is now called the Shavian alphabet. The National Gallery of Ireland, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the British Museum all received substantial bequests.