/ Estates

Estate Plans of the Rich and Famous

“...enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” - Warren Buffett on how much of his fortune he will leave his kids.

Trusts are a big part of estate planning, but not everyone plans to pass on their wealth to their kids when they die - just check out the Giving Pledge.

So, who is cutting off their kids and giving back to the world? Here are five billionaires with a philanthropic flair:

1. Bill Gates

When you think “billionaire” you probably think “Bill Gates.” With a net worth of approximately $103.8 billion USD, he has certainly earned that title.

Bill and Melinda Gates have said that they don’t want to spoil their children by gifting them so much money that it discourages creating their own path in life and making it so that they’re unable to rely on themselves.

Instead, Gates plans on giving them a small portion, and giving away the majority of his fortune to different charitable causes like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Although Gates says he won’t be leaving his kids much, it’s safe to assume that his version of pocket change is significantly different to the average person’s.

You could say that Gates puts the “Bill” in “billionaire.”

2. Warren Buffett

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is no stranger to charitable donations.

This year alone he donated $3.6 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett has said he’ll only be giving each of his three children $2 billion. Considering his net worth is sitting at a cool $81.3 billion USD, it’s fair to say that really is a small portion of his estate.

What about the rest of his fortune? Buffett says he’s going to give away 99% of it to charities. His estates lawyer is going to have some work ahead of them.

3. Mark Zuckerberg

Speaking of giving away 99% of your fortune, Cofounder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg echoes that statement.

With a net worth of $74 billion, he and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook shares over their lifetime.

So what does that mean for their kids?

“As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.” - Mark Zuckerberg

4. Andrew Lloyd Webber

Did you know that the composer of the famous musicals Phantom of the Opera and Cats is worth $1.2 Billion?

Andrew Lloyd Webber has five children and no plans to give them any portion of the wealth of his company.

“...I don't believe in inherited money at all. I am not in favour of children suddenly finding a lot of money coming their way because then they have no incentive to work.” -Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Apparently his children take no issue with this, and are prepared to rely on their own work ethic.

Webber has made it clear that he wants to donate a large part of his fortune back to young artists and composers across the world as a way of paying it forward.

5. Izaak Walton Killam & Dorothy J. Killam

They may not have quite been billionaires, but Izaak and Dorothy are a must-mention on this list.

The Canadian couple built their fortune over years, by both until Izaak’s death in 1955, and by Dorothy until her death in 1965.

When she died, she left the equivalent of $450 million to higher education.

According to Dorothy’s will, she set up the fund “to increase the scientific and scholastic attainments of Canadians; to develop and expand the work of Canadian universities; and to promote sympathetic understanding between Canadians and the peoples of other countries."

There’s not much known about the Killams, but their legacy lives on through their generosity.

When all is said and done it’s fair to say that not many of us will have the ability to give away millions to charity, but you can rest assured that there are philanthropists out there who see beyond spoiling their family in favour of helping others with theirs.