Bright Side

12 Celebrities Who Won’t Leave Their Fortune to Their Children and Will Donate It to Charity

There are famous millionaires, even some with fortunes worth billions of dollars, who have decided that after their death, most of their money will go to charity and not to their children. And some of them are already doing so through foundations where they spend a lot of money on charity. Others have already died and have not left a single penny to their heirs, seeking a better destiny for their fortune.

Bright Side presents 12 celebrities who decided to donate most of their money to charity.

1. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis

This pair of actors has decided to raise their children without luxuries or eccentricities so that they learn to value things and, moreover, they have stated that they are not going to inherit any money. “We’re not going to leave them any money. When the time is right, we will donate everything we have to charity,” Kutcher said in a podcast on the Armchair Expert program, hosted by Dax Shepard.

He also said that when they grow up and want to start a business, both he and Kunis will support them, but they don’t want to encourage them to stop working and just wait for their inheritance. “We hope that this will motivate them to fight to have what they have or at least to get a share,” said the actor.

2. Simon Cowell

The famous talent show judge has declared that he won’t give his son an inheritance. “I’m going to leave my money to someone. A charity, probably for children and dogs... I don’t believe in passing it on from one generation to another.”

Cowell also said he would rather be remembered for helping others succeed, than helping his children stay rich. “Your legacy has to be that hopefully you gave enough people an opportunity, so that they can do well, and you gave them your time, taught them what you know,” stated the British millionaire.

3. Sting

The British rock star went on from a very poor and deprived childhood to amass a large fortune. The artist has made it clear that, like him, his children will have to work hard to earn a living. “’I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses ’round their necks. They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate,” said the famous musician.

However, he made it clear that if they were in trouble, he would help them, but that his children have a work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit.

4. Elton John

Talented musician, Elton John, also joined the list of famous Britons who have decided to not leave their fortune to their children, or at least to not leave it all to them, but instead donate a large part of it to charity. John said: “Of course I want to leave my children in a very solid financial state, but it is terrible to give your children a silver spoon. It ruins their life.”

He added that his children have incredible lives, but that you have to have a certain appearance of normalcy, and some respect for money and work.

5. Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is one of the most important names in the UK’s gastronomy industry. The famous chef has a strong presence on television and has raised millions through programs like MasterChef USA, MasterChef Junior, and Hell’s Kitchen. His net worth is estimated to be at around $217 million.

However, Ramsay has no intention of leaving his fortune to his 5 children. “It’s definitely not gonna go to them,” said the celebrity chef. “And that’s not bad, it’s to not spoil them,” he added. Similarly, he acknowledges that, in recent years, he’s been very lucky in his career, has made a great fortune, and that he respects everything he has.

6. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, the entrepreneur and founder of the social network Facebook, became a billionaire before he turned 32 and today has a fortune amounting to around $72 billion. However, he will not share most of his money with his children.

In a letter to his newborn daughter Maxima in 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99% of their company’s shares, which at the time were worth over $45 billion. Earlier, in December 2012, Zuckerberg and his wife announced that over the course of their lives they will donate most of their wealth to “advance human potential and promote equality” in the spirit of The Giving Pledge.

7. Paul Allen

Paul Allen, who died in 2018, was an entrepreneur, business tycoon, and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. Much of his fortune was donated during his lifetime through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, to which he gave $30 million annually. He also sponsored the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering, which opened in 2003 and to which he donated $14 million.

Allen was regularly listed in Forbes magazine as one of the world’s richest people. It is estimated that, at his death, his fortune amounted to $17.5 billion. When he was being treated for his illness, he declared that, when he died, most of his fortune would go to charity.

8. Jackie Chan

The Hong Kong born martial artist, actor, and producer has said that, after his death, he will donate half his fortune to charity, meaning that he does not plan to leave the millions of dollars he earned during his career to either of his 2 children. "If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money,’’ Chan said of his first-born son Jaycee.

By 2020, Jackie Chan has built up an estimated net worth of about $370 million, putting him at number 12 on the list of the world’s richest actors.

9. Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber has been successful in Britain as a director of numerous late 20th century plays, including The Phantom of the Opera. He stands out as a composer, writer, author, producer, and director and thanks to his achievements and talents he has amassed a great fortune over his career, estimated at $920 million.

The composer plans to donate his fortune to the theater industry, to which he believes he owes his success. He has also revealed that his 5 children will see very little cash after he dies and says that they don’t mind, as they believe in having a work ethic. “I don’t believe in inherited money at all,” he said. “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 added.

10. Kirk Douglas

On February 5, 2020, the world was moved by the news of the death of one of Hollywood’s icons, actor Kirk Douglas, father of fellow actor Michael Douglas. None of his children, including Michael, received a penny of his inheritance.

Through the Douglas Foundation, after his death, the actor donated most of his estimated $61 million fortune to charity. This foundation was established with his wife in 1964, showing that he also devoted himself to philanthropy during his lifetime.

Among the charities that were favored by the Douglas Foundation were the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and St. Lawrence University.

11. George Lucas

In July 2010, Lucas signed the aforementioned agreement, The Giving Pledge, along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, promising to hand over at least half of his wealth at the time of his death. “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education,” Lucas wrote in his commitment letter. “...as long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages,” he added.

The American filmmaker, who brought the Star Wars and Indiana Jones sagas to life, is the father of 4 children, who will not inherit most of his fortune. The director said in a statement that he would allot the $4 billion Disney paid him for his production company Lucas Films, to charity.

12. Barron Hilton

In 2019, Barron Hilton, the son of the hotel empire’s founder, Conrad Hilton, that bears his name, died. Today the chain has over 2,800 properties across 80 countries. His immense fortune, valued at $1.25 billion, did not end up in the hands of his 8 children and 15 grandchildren, at least for the most part, because the hotel magnate decided to disinherit them before he died.

Barron announced that 97% of his fortune would be donated to the Hilton Foundation, a charity created by his father and now chaired by his son. Only 3% would be left to his heirs.

Do you agree with these celebrities? Who would you leave your money to if you were a billionaire? We’re waiting for your answer in the comment box.