Many of the world’s richest people have publicly stated that their children will not inherit all the money they have made and that they will instead donate most of their wealth to charity. They claim they don’t want to spoil their children and want them to learn the value of money on their own.
Here are five of the billionaires who have pledged their fortunes to charity and will only leave small parts to their children:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a net worth of about USD 78 billion, and he and his wife Priscilla Chan announced after the birth of their first child, Max, in 2015, that they would donate 99 percent of her inheritance to charity, in a Facebook post published as a letter to their daughter. “We want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,” the post read. “We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”
The couple founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC dedicated to “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities” around the world. Since then, they have had another daughter named August.
Gordon Ramsay, one of the biggest celebrity chefs in the UK, owns 40 restaurants around the globe and has a current net worth of USD 190 million. However, he has said that the money is not something he’s enthusiastic about and that this is reflected in the way his children are brought up. In fact, his children are rarely allowed to eat in his restaurants and he won’t let them fly first class – “they haven’t worked anywhere near hard enough to afford that,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph.
Ramsay and his wife Tana have four teenage children, who earn their own money and have often worked to help out charities. “Meg’s at uni and has a budget of £100 a week; the others get about £50 a week and they have to pay for their own phones, their bus fare. The earlier you give them that responsibility to save for their own trainers and jeans, the better,” he explained in the interview.
The children will not inherit the Ramsay fortune, according to the chef: “The only thing I’ve agreed with Tana is they get a 25 percent deposit on a flat, but not the whole flat,” he said.
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and a well-known philanthropist with a net worth of USD 93 billion, will reportedly only leave his three children USD 10 million each, although he has not confirmed the exact amount.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread in 2013, Gates said: “I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor 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. Some people disagree with this, but Melinda and I feel good about it.”
Warren Buffett – The billionaire said at a 2006 event: “I’m not an enthusiast for dynastic wealth, particularly when six billion others have much poorer hands than we do in life.” He added that 85 percent of his fortune will go to five charitable organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while the rest will probably go to his children.
He is also encouraging other billionaires of the world to do the same. Together with Bill and Melinda Gates, Buffett started The Giving Pledge – “a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate most of their wealth to philanthropy. The pledge has been signed by dozens of rich individuals and families, including: George Lucas, Elon Musk, David Rockerfeller, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg and many others.
George Lucas – the Star Wars director, who has four children, joined the Giving Pledge started by Warren Buffett and the Gates family and has promised to donate half his wealth to charity, mainly to improve education. “It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future — and the first step begins with social, emotional and intellectual tools we provide to our children.”