This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Regulated by the Society of Will Writers & Estate Planning Practitioners
Registered Office: Suite 43-45 Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ. Registered in England No. 4532330
Once upon a time (before 1939, in fact), it was perfectly allowable to those in England to write
wills that were deliberately 'revengeful'. A revengeful will is one in which the testator chooses to
leave their spouse or children with nothing while the money instead goes to friends or charity.
In July of 1939, a law was passed that meant it was only possible to disinherit close family
members if there was a good reason to do so - and the probate judge would need to agree that it
was a good reason if (usually when) these revengeful wills were contested. It would also need to
be proved that those who would be unable to make their own living (disabled people, for
example) were provided for.
Whilst the English are not meant to make revengeful wills anymore, that doesn't stop people
from other countries having a good go at it. For example, property mogul Leona Helmsley chose
to leave a $12 million trust fund to her dog (called Trouble, rather aptly) instead of leaving it to
The English have, however, found ways around this 1939 law, and with careful wording some
have managed to create wills that are exactly what they want. For example, an
unnamed Londoner did leave his fortune to his children, but stated that they would only have it
on condition that they never became MPs, bought shares, or changed religion!
If you are not sure what is or what isn't allowed in your will, just contact IWC. Our experts can
help you at every step.
Call us for a quote, instant help or impartial advice on Freephone
0800 612 6105 or 020 8150 2010