Some of the world’s best known multi-millionaires and billionaires have revealed that their kids won’t receive an inheritance – at least, not all of the wealth their parents have accumulated.
Why These Kids Won’t Receive An Inheritance
Sting is a musician best known for being the frontman of rock band The Police. The singer has received 16 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy Award. He has an approximate net worth of $300 million.
The father of six publicly declared that his children will not inherit a penny of his vast fortune in an interview with the Mail on Sunday in 2014. He said: “I told them there won’t be much money left because [my wife and I] are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn’t much left.
“I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate,” he said.
With a career in music spanning four decades, Sir Elton John earns an approximate $60 million a year, adding to his impressive estimated net worth of $480 million.
With his husband David Furnish he has two young sons — Zachary and Elijah — but the singer has no intentions of spoiling them with his vast fortune.
“It’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
“The boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work.”
Simon Cowell is a television and music producer, most famous for “The X Factor,” “Britain’s Got Talent,” and “America’s Got Talent.” His annual salary is estimated at $95 million and he has a net worth of approximately $550 million.
In an interview with Esquire in 2013, Cowell said: “I don’t believe in passing on from one generation to another. Your legacy has to be that hopefully, you gave enough people an opportunity, so that they could do well, and you gave them your time, taught them what you know.
“I’m going to leave my money to somebody. A charity, probably — kids and dogs.”
Best known for creating the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” sagas, George Lucas is an American TV and film producer. After selling the Star Wars franchise and his production company “Lucasfilm” — both of which Lucas owned 100% of the rights to — to The Walt Disney Company for $4.05 billion in 2012, Lucas saw his net worth rocket to $5.3 billion.
The father of four has one adopted daughter from his first marriage, two further adopted children, and a fourth daughter with second wife Mellody Hobson, born in August 2013.
However, the majority of the funds made from the deal would go towards educational philanthropy projects. Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation, also known as Edutopia, which aims to research and improve educational practices used in schools in order to make sure that children are gaining the absolute most from their education.
Mark Zuckerberg co-founded social media giant Facebook, earning a personal net worth of $74 billion.
After welcoming his first daughter, Max, into the world with wife Priscilla Chan in December 2015, Zuckerberg publicised the child’s birth by posting an announcement on Facebook. In the post, Zuckerberg declared that he and his wife would be donating 99% of Max’s inheritance to charity.
The post, addressed to Max, said: “We want you to grow up in a world better than ours today” adding “we will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”
Warren Buffett is the second richest man in the world with a staggering net worth of $78.9 billion.
Buffett made his name as an investor and serves as the CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway — a company that owns or holds stakes in dozens of companies including Kraft Heinz, American Express, Duracell, and even Apple. Buffett has been named “one of the most successful investors of all time” by Forbes.
Buffett is a keen philanthropist and plans on pledging 100% of his vast fortune to various charities when he dies, leaving nothing to his children.
Rather than handing each of his three children money directly into their pockets,Buffett has instead promised to give approximately $2.1 billion (£1.6 billion) of Berkshire Hathaway stock to each of his children’s charities as rewards for the success of the foundations.
The majority of his fortune will go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a percentage also going to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation that the tycoon founded with his first wife.
Like many of the world’s richest billionaires, Miscrosoft founder Bill Gates is a keen philanthropist and plans to pass on the vast majority of his $89.6 billion fortune to charitable causes. Gates and his wife Melinda own the world’s largest private charitable foundation — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — which works to “help all people lead healthy, productive lives.”
Gates’ three children have inherited their father’s philanthropic gene, and are reportedly happy to not be inheriting their father’s fortune. In a Reddit AMA, the Microsoft magnate said his children will inherit just $10 million (£7.6 million) each — equivalating to 0.01116% of his fortune.
In the AMA, Gates said: “I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favour to them. Warren Buffett was part of an article in Fortune talking about this in 1986 before I met him and it made me think about it and decide he was right.”
Whether an estate battle will erupt upon the death of their wealthy parents in another matter, but leaving children a large inheritance is not always beneficial. The use of a testamentary discretionary trust can give you flexibility in terms of holding assets in trust for children, or protecting assets in the case of an addiction, for example. For more information about estate planning, please contact us today. We offer a FREE, 10-minute phone consultation.