More and more wealthy people are cutting their kids out of their wills, with the likes of Bill Gates and Sting claiming that their children would do better off without a trust fund to back them up. Whatever their reasons, it surely can’t be a bad thing for these celebs to leave money to charity rather than keeping it in the family, though we’re sure their children would disagree!
The famous face of Microsoft plans to leave his vast fortune to charity via The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He spoke of the decision on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, saying that he thought that leaving his kids all his money would be “no favour to them”. I wonder if they agree?
Lead singer of The Police, Sting, famously told press that he’ll be leaving very little to his six grown up children. He referred to large inheritances as being like “albatrosses around their necks” and said that he expects his kids to work. “All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate.”
The celebrity chef told press that as soon as her children finish college they’ll be fending for themselves. She believes that “It ruins people not having to earn money” and is determined that her children should “have no financial security”, though she also reassured the public that she won’t exactly leave them starving either!
Founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, won’t even be waiting till he passes to donate his fortune. Omidyar and his wife have decided they’ll give away their money during their lifetime, mostly via their charity, the Humanity United Foundation, which aims to eradicate slavery. “We have more money than our family will ever need,” he says. “There’s no need to hold onto it when it can be put to use today, to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems”.
Legendary writer and director, George Lucas, sold his Star Wars franchise to Disney for a whopping $4.5billion recently, but his four children won’t be benefitting from it. He will be donating most of his money to help under-privileged youngsters to get an education to “raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages”.
Notorious X-Factor judge and music mogul, Simon Cowell, will be leaving his $0.5 billion fortune to select charities who help “kids and dogs”, rather than to his 16-month-old son – well at least he’s not old enough to realise yet!
The famous actor and martial artist is big on charity. He’s a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, campaigns against animal abuse, and started the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation in 1988, which supports education for Hong Kong’s young people, as well as providing aid for disaster relief. Chan told press that his son could “make his own money” as his $140 million would be distributed amongst his many good causes.
Mickey Rooney dedicated his entire life to the big screen, acting in over 300 films by the time he died age 94. Despite his fame, Rooney was a notorious gambler, alcoholic and womaniser and left a meagre £18,000 behind, which was a lot more than his nine children got. Rooney notoriously left his children a big fat nothing, leaving the £18,000 to his stepson, as Rooney claimed his stepson was the only one he could trust. Ouch!
Just before she died, Silver Screen icon, Joan Crawford, changed her will and cut two of her adopted children out, leaving them nothing. Her other two adopted children didn’t fare much better, receiving just $77,500 each of Crawford’s estimated $20 million fortune. She stated that she did this “for reasons that should be well known to them [her children]” – I wonder what family drama that was about?
Legendary rock star of KISS fame, Gene Simmons, may be one of the coolest dads ever, until you take into account his inheritance plans. Simmons’ two children won’t be getting a penny of their dad’s fortune as he believes they’ll do better if he gives them a chance to build their own fortunes – not such a cool dad now huh!
If you’re wondering what to do with your inheritance, why not give us a call on 0207 406 5875?
You don’t have to make like a celebrity, but it’s always a good idea to have a solid inheritance plan so your hard-earned funds go exactly where you want them to, even if that’s not your children!
Ellie is a resident writer for Best Value Probate, covering topics such as Probate, wills and other legal proceedings.