10 Tycoons Who Won't Be Leaving Their Fortunes To Their Kids

michael bloomberg

Being generous with your money is easy if you’re wealthy. Some of the world’s greatest philanthropists are also some of the world’s richest people. And we commend them for that. 

But not everyone stands to gain from such altruism — namely, the children of these generous donors. 

While some millionaires and billionaires are happy to leave their amassed fortunes to their offspring, some refuse to do so — for both the sake of the world and for the kids themselves. Many hold the belief that living a life of luxury, which wasn’t necessarily earned, won’t benefit their children in the long-run.

These descendants will still have untold opportunities, advantages, connections and reputations to help them succeed. But they won’t have a massive bank account just for being related to a rich person.

[Our friends at Luxpresso put together an earlier version of this list; we’ve added our own picks.]

Warren Buffett

As an incredibly wealthy investor and philanthropist, Buffett has pledged to give away 99 per cent of his wealth, either during his life or when he dies. He started by promising 83 per cent of it to the Gates Foundation.

The Oracle of Omaha isn't worried about his children not getting their fair share. Echoing a common sentiment on this list, Buffett once said 'I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.'

Michael Bloomberg

The mayor of New York City gets paid $1 a year for his government duties because with a net worth of $19.5 billion, he's pretty much set financially.

But Bloomberg is also an avid philanthropist, having donated millions to Johns Hopkins University, the Carnegie Corporation, and thousands of other non-profits. In his letter to The Giving Pledge, Bloomberg wrote that 'nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation.'

Bloomberg's two daughters, however, may be left to foot the bill upon his death. Bloomberg once said 'the best financial planning ends with bouncing the check to the undertaker.'

Gene Simmons

The bassist for KISS, one of the best selling American bands of all time, is a self-made man. He was born in Israel, moved to Queens with his mother, and started a group that would end up compiling 28 gold records over the years.

Simmons wants the same path for his two kids, Nick and Sophie: '...in terms of an inheritance and stuff, they're gonna be taken care of, but they will never be rich off my money. Because every year they should be forced to get up out of bed, and go out and work and make their own way.' So the $300 million bucks that belong to Simmons will be headed somewhere else upon his death.

Bill Gates

The founder and chairman of Microsoft is often cited as one of the richest people in the world, if not the richest. But Bill and wife Melinda aren't interested in keeping that money for themselves, or for their three children.

'I knew I didn't think it was a good idea to give the money to my kids. That wouldn't be good either for my kids or society,' he told The Sun in 2010.

Instead, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded in 1994, and today has assets of over $37 billion dollars. In fact, the Foundation also started 'The Giving Pledge,' which invites other wealthy individuals to join the Gates' lead and donate half their money to charity.

Bernard Marcus

Marcus grew up in Newark, New Jersey to Russian immigrant parents, and went on to start Home Depot. His retail success helped him accumulate $1.5 billion in net worth. His philanthropic efforts include funding the Georgia Aquarium and starting the Marcus Foundation.

Not wanting his kids to inherit large sums of money -- for their own good, he says -- Marcus plans on giving the majority of his Home Depot stock to his foundation, which benefits the handicapped and education.

Nigella Lawson

The so-called 'Queen of Food Porn' (good evidence for which can be seen here) is a best-selling author and TV personality, which made her a millionaire even before she married wealthy art collector Charles Saatchi.

Though Lawson herself comes from a wealthy background, she seems to be a firm believer in not giving her two children (from a previous marriage) that same advantage. She came under fire for saying 'I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.'

She followed up that statement by saying she didn't plan on leaving her kids 'destitute,' but stood by the idea that they would have to support themselves after school ended.

Ted Turner

Turner is such a prominent philanthropist that he is as famous for giving away money as he is for making it.

After accumulating his wealth through the founding of media outlets like CNN and TBS, Turner has gone on to give literally billions of dollars to causes like the United Nations Foundation.

Turner has five children from three marriages, but they shouldn't be expecting a large endowment once he passes. Whether jokingly or not, Turner was quoted in 2010 as saying he was 'almost to the edge of poverty' and just wants enough money to cover funeral expenses when he dies.

William Barron Hilton

Hilton, as the name suggests, is head of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, which he inherited from his father Conrad. Conrad left 97 per cent of his wealth to charity, but Barron contested the will and ended up receiving a sizable fortune instead.

The grandfather of socialite Paris Hilton may have been thinking of his hard-partying progeny when he decided to follow in his father's footsteps, pledging to leave 97 per cent of his money to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, with an immediate pledge of $1.2 billion. The remaining three per cent will be given to his heirs, including his eight children and their offspring.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Having racked up hundreds of millions of dollars and becoming a knight thanks to his work as a theatre composer, Webber wants to use that money to encourage teaching the arts. Just not to his own kids.

Webber once said that '(A will) is one thing you do start to think about when you get to my age. I don't think it should be about having a whole load of rich children and grandchildren. I think it should be used as a way to encourage the arts.' His five children will be 'taken care of,' but the majority of the estate will go towards arts programs.

T. Boone Pickens

Pickens spent his whole life -- from delivering newspapers to taking over Gulf Oil -- making money via acquisition. The corporate raider now has a net worth of $1.4 billion because of it.

So it's no surprise that Pickens isn't in favour of handing his money over for free, even to his kids. Pickens is one of America's billionaires to take The Giving Pledge, donating at least half of his money to charity. And when asked about leaving money for his children, he had this to say: 'I've long stated that I enjoy making money, and I enjoy giving it away ... I'm not a big fan of inherited wealth. It generally does more harm than good.'

Now you'll recognise some of the people on this list

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