Money

7 billionaires who won’t leave their fortunes to their kids

Even though 68 percent of millennials expect an inheritance, only 40 percent of parents will probably leave them one. And while mostly the offspring of the one percent are likely to be among those who will one day inherit their parents' wealth, not all billionaires' kids will be so lucky.

Many business moguls, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, plan to donate their fortunes to charity instead.

Read on to see seven billionaires who won't be keeping their wealth in the family.

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Mark Zuckerberg

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's first child Max was born in 2015, he and wife Priscilla Chan made an interesting announcement: They don't plan to leave her their billions. Instead, the couple founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC dedicated to "personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities" around the world.

"We will give 99 percent of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission," the couple wrote in a letter posted to Zuckerberg's Facebook page. "We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others."

Zuckerberg is now worth an estimated $63.5 billion.

Bill Gates
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates are giving their three kids "a minuscule portion" of their estimated $89 billion, they told the Daily Mail in 2011. "It will mean they have to find their own way," Bill said at the time.

Although even a fraction of the Gates' wealth will be enough to put their kids among the wealthiest individuals in the world, Bill believes it will compel them to rely on themselves. "It's not a favor to kids to have them have huge sums of wealth," he told "This Morning" last year, as reported by SFGate. "It distorts anything they might do, creating their own path."

The couple plans to put the majority of their fortune toward charitable causes, namely the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to eradicate disease, poverty and hunger across the globe. Along with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, the Gateses also helped create the Giving Pledge in 2010, which encourages more of the super-rich to leave the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney earned his fortune from co-founding Duty Free Shoppers Group.
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Billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney earned his fortune from co-founding Duty Free Shoppers Group.

Chuck Feeney

At 86, Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group, is technically no longer a billionaire. That's because Feeney has been quietly dedicated to donating his entire fortune to charitable causes after signing over everything to Atlantic Philanthropies, the foundation he founded, three decades ago.

Once worth $8 billion, Feeney is now down to his last $2 million, less than 0.001 percent of the amount he's given away, Business Insider reports. Though his children won't be seeing a dime of their inheritance, they're understanding of their father's goodwill.

"It is eccentric, but he sheltered us from people using the money to treat us differently," Leslie Feeney Baily told The New York Times in 2007. "It made us normal people."

Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Although billionaire investor Warren Buffett plans to leave each of his three children $2 billion, as The Washington Post reported in 2014, it's nowhere near the full scope of his $77 billion fortune.

As Buffett told Fortune in 1986, he wants to leave his kids "'enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.''

The rest of it will go toward philanthropic causes. As a co-founder of the Giving Pledge along with friend and fellow billionaire Bill Gates, Buffett is committed to donating more that 99 percent of his wealth to charity during his lifetime or at the time of his death.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Michael Bloomberg

Rather than leave the entirety of his fortune of around $50 billion to his daughters directly, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to invest in philanthropic organizations that will help create a better future for them.

In his Giving Pledge letter, Bloomberg writes: "If you want to do something for your children and show how much you love them, the single best thing — by far — is to support organizations that will create a better world for them and their children."

Andrew Lloyd Webber
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Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Best known for hit musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Cats, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly worth over $1 billion. However, his five children won't be getting rich off their dad's success.

"I don't believe in inherited money at all," Webber told Mirror back in 2008. "I am not in favor of children suddenly finding a lot of money coming their way because then they have no incentive to work. So I will give them a start in life but they ain't going to end up owning [my company]."

Rather, Webber hopes his earnings will be put back into theater and go toward helping upcoming musicians.

Pierre Omidyar, chairman and founder of eBay Inc.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pierre Omidyar, chairman and founder of eBay Inc.

Pierre Omidyar

When eBay went public in 1998, co-founder Pierre Omidyar became a billionaire. Today worth $8.1 billion, Omidyar is a member of the Giving Pledge and is committed to donating the majority of his fortune to charitable causes throughout his lifetime.

"We have more money than our family will ever need," he and his wife, Pam, wrote in their letter. "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."

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