12 ultra-wealthy people who aren’t leaving their fortunes to their children

    Bill Gates and his daughter Phoebe in June 2022.

    ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

    Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, won’t leave the $24 billion she inherited to her children.
    Bill Gates’ children will receive less than 1% of his total fortune.
    Elton John and other celebrities have announced their plans to leave their fortunes to charity.

    Everyone wants what’s best for their kids, and for some high-profile business magnates, billionaires, and celebrities that means not handing their wealth to their children.

    Laurene Powell Jobs told The New York Times in 2020 that she doesn’t want to pass the $24 billion fortune she inherited from her late husband, Steve Jobs, to their children.

    “I’m not interested in legacy wealth buildings, and my children know that,” she told the Times. “If I live long enough, it ends with me.”

    Business Insider compiled a list of 12 high-profile millionaires and billionaires, including some the world’s biggest business magnates, who won’t be signing over their fortunes to their kids in their will. We ranked these wealthy parents in ascending order by their net worth.

    Keep reading for a look at the 12 high-profile billionaires and millionaires who aren’t leaving their fortunes to their children.

    British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson wants her three children to have to work for financial security.Nigella Lawson.

    REUTERS/Toby Melville

    Nigella Lawson is a food writer, TV personality, and journalist. She was one of the pioneers behind the 21st-century celebrity-chef movement with her books including “Feast,” “Nigella Express,” and “How to Be a Domestic Goddess.”

    In 2014, The Guardian reported that Lawson’s production company Pabulum Productions was producing a profit of nearly $4 million from her popular TV shows and cookbooks. According to Speakers Corner, which lists Lawson among its public speakers, she has sold more than 10 million cookbook copies worldwide. 

    Lawson has two adult children from her first marriage and one step-daughter from her second marriage to advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, which ended in 2013.

    “I am determined that my children should have no financial security,” Lawson told British magazine My Weekly in 2008, as reported by the Daily Mail. “It ruins people not having to earn money.”

    Gordon Ramsay has said he won’t leave his vast fortune to any of his six children.Gordon Ramsay with wife Tana Ramsay and daughters Megan and Holly.

    AP/Richard Shotwell/Invision

    Gordon Ramsay is one of the biggest names in the British restaurant industry with a net worth of $70 million, Forbes reported in 2020. He is the owner and operator of 35 restaurants worldwide, with seven Michelin stars between them, according to his company website, and the celebrity chef has a strong TV presence, hosting shows such as “MasterChef USA,” “MasterChef Junior,” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” 

    The father of six, who has been married to wife Tana since 1996, has no intention of leaving their fortune to their children.

    “[My fortune is] definitely not going to them,” Ramsay told The Telegraph in 2017. “And that’s not in a mean way; it’s to not spoil them. The only thing I’ve agreed with Tana is they get 25% deposit on a flat, but not the whole flat.”

    “I’ve been super lucky, having that career for the last 15 years in the US,” Ramsay said. “Seriously, it has earned a fortune and I’ve been very lucky, so I respect everything I’ve got.”

    Ashton Kutcher isn’t even going to set up a trust fund for his children.Ashton Kutcher.

    Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

    Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, are both successful Hollywood actors and recently sold the first home they purchased together for a whopping $10.4 million, People reported in 2022.

    On a 2019 episode of the Dax Shepard podcast “Armchair Expert,” Kutcher said he wasn’t creating trust funds for his two children with Kunis. He also said he’d hear out their business ideas but wouldn’t give them special treatment over the other pitches he hears for his venture capital firm, A-Grade Investments.

    “My kids are living a really privileged life, and they don’t even know it,” said Kutcher.

    Sting said he plans to spend his money instead of leaving it to his six kids.Sting.

    Reuters/Norsk Telegrambyra/AS

    The father of six, best known as the front man of the rock band The Police, told The Daily Mail in 2014 that his children would not inherit a penny. Forbes estimated in 2023 that Sting’s net worth was about $210 million.

    “I told them there won’t be much money left because [my wife and I] are spending it,” Sting told the Daily Mail. “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,” he continued. “They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate.”

    Elton John said it’s “terrible to give kids a silver spoon” and won’t leave his sons a massive inheritance.Sir Elton John.

    David Wolff – Patrick/Contributor/Getty Images

    With a career in music spanning four decades, Elton John’s retirement tour earned a massive $939 million, according to Billboard, adding to his $81 million net worth, per Forbes‘ 2020 estimate.

    John and his husband, David Furnish, have two sons — Zachary, 13, and Elijah, 11 — but the singer has no intentions of spoiling them with his vast fortune.

    “The boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are,” John told The Daily Mirror in 2016. “But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work.”

    The couple borrows from the Warren Buffett school of inheritance.

    “[Buffett] has a really cool model in that he leaves his children enough money so that they have a house, a car, and all their basic needs covered and cared for so they never need worry,” John continued. “But it’s not crazy, silly, go-wild money so that they could be buying Picassos or private jets.”

    Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber says it doesn’t bother his kids that he wants to leave his fortune elsewhere.Andrew Lloyd Webber with wife Madeleine Gurdon.


    Webber is the musical theater composer behind award-winning, long-running shows such as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” and “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The composer — with seven Tonys, three Grammys, an Academy Award, and a knighthood — had a net worth of about $1.07 billion in 2018, Forbes reported.

    The famed composer and father of five told The Daily Mirror in 2008 that he didn’t plan to pass his vast fortune on to his children.

    “I am not in favor of children suddenly finding a lot of money coming their way because then they have no incentive to work,” he said.

    Instead, Webber told the Daily Mirror that he wants to invest his fortunes into musical projects after his death, although he had no finite plans at the time. “It is extremely likely that my wife Madeleine will outlive me so I will leave the problem with her,” Webber said.

    “Star Wars” creator George Lucas plans to use his multibillion-dollar fortune to fund the education of other people’s children.George Lucas with wife Mellody Hobson.

    Reuters/Dylan Martinez

    Lucas, a father of four, saw his net worth rocket to $6.4 billion 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. Forbes estimates his 2024 net worth at $5.3 billion.

    However, a spokesperson for Lucas told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 that the majority of the funds made from the deal would go toward educational philanthropy projects.

    Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation, also known as Edutopia. This foundation aims to research and improve educational practices in schools so that children gain the most from their education.

    He has one adopted daughter from his first marriage, two further adopted children, and a daughter with his second wife, Mellody Hobson.

    Laurene Powell Jobs said that her family’s billionaire status “ends with me.”Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell Jobs.

    Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images

    Laurene Powell Jobs inherited a multibillion-dollar fortune from her late husband, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, after his death in 2011.

    The 56-year-old billionaire is a formidable presence in the investing world and a full-time philanthropist. She is the founder of College Track, a nonprofit organization that helps prepare low-income students for higher education, and the “social change organization” the Emerson Collective.

    Jobs has three children: Reed, 32; Erin, 28; and Eve, 25. Forbes estimates her and her family’s net worth at $14.7 billion.

    “It’s not right for individuals to accumulate a massive amount of wealth that’s equivalent to millions and millions of other people combined,” Jobs told The New York Times in 2020. “There’s nothing fair about that.”

    Michael Bloomberg also plans to give his fortune to charity instead of to his daughters.Michael Bloomberg.

    Reuters/Henry Romero

    Former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is the founder and CEO of software, data, and media company Bloomberg LP and is the 14th richest person in the world, with a fortune of $106 billion, according to Forbes.

    The former mayor of New York City has publicly announced he hopes to give away his entire fortune before he dies, the majority of which will be donated to his philanthropic initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies.

    Bloomberg also plans to leave his company to Bloomberg Philanthropies upon his death, “if not sooner,” Bloomberg spokesperson Ty Trippet told the Financial Times in 2023.

    Bloomberg’s two daughters, Georgina, 41, and Emma, 45, both work for philanthropic causes themselves.

    Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan wrote in a Facebook post after their first daughter was born that they intend to leave their fortune to charity.Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

    AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

    After welcoming his first daughter, Max, with his wife, Priscilla Chan, in December 2015, Zuckerberg publicized the child’s birth by posting an announcement on Facebook.

    In the post, Zuckerberg declared he and his wife would donate 99% of Max’s inheritance to charity. According to Forbes, Zuckerberg has a net worth of about $182 billion and is the fourth-richest person in the world.

    The announcement, addressed to Max, said, “We want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.”

    “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,” Zuckerberg continued.

    The couple has since welcomed two more daughters, August and Aurelia. 

    Warren Buffett is leaving much of his fortune to his best friend Bill Gates’ foundation instead of to his children.Warren Buffett.

    Reuters/Rick Wilking

    Warren Buffett made his name as an investor and serves as the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns or holds stakes in dozens of companies including Kraft Heinz, American Express, Duracell, and Apple.

    Buffett has been named “one of the most successful investors of all time” and has a net worth of over $134 billion, according to Forbes.

    Buffett is also a keen philanthropist who plans to donate 99% of his vast fortune to various charities when he dies, leaving nothing to his children. He is the cofounder of the Giving Pledge, an organization he launched with Bill Gates asking wealthy people to donate at least half of their fortune to charity, according to Forbes.

    NBC News reported that rather than handing each of his three children money, Buffett has instead promised to give about $2.1 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock to each of his children’s charities as rewards for the foundations’ success.

    The majority of his fortune will go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has already donated $56 billion to this foundation and his children’s foundations, Forbes reported.

    Bill Gates may be a multibillionaire, but his kids will “only” be millionaires.Bill Gates and his daughter Jennifer in June 2022.

    Shutterstock Rex for EEM

    Like many of the world’s richest billionaires, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a keen philanthropist and plans to pass on the vast majority of his fortune to charitable causes. He has a net worth of about $134.1 billion, according to Forbes.

    Gates and his now ex-wife, Melinda, established the world’s largest private charitable foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to “help all people lead healthy, productive lives.” Melinda has since stepped down from the foundation.

    Bill Gates’ three children have inherited their father’s philanthropic gene and are reportedly happy not to be inheriting their father’s fortune.

    In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” the Microsoft magnate said his children will inherit just $10 million each — equivalent to less than 1% of his fortune, the Huffington Post reported.

    “I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” Gates said. “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.”

    Bobbie Edsor, Marissa Perino, and Taylor Nicole Rogers contributed to an earlier version of this story.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


    Latest posts