5 Billionaires Who Refuse To Leave Their Fortunes To Their Children

Many of the world's wealthiest people are also some of the most generous, but not when it comes to their family members.

Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates have enough money to last for multiple generations, but instead of giving it to their offspring or relatives, they're choosing to use their fortune for good and put it towards causes that will help make the world a better place.

Here are 5 billionaires who refuse to leave their fortunes to their children:

Michael Bloomberg


Michael "Mike" Bloomberg is the founder, CEO and owner of the international company Bloomberg L.P., and former Mayor of New York City.

The Boston-native started his career as a general partner at a Wall Street investment bank called Salomon Brothers. In 1981, when the bank was bought out, Bloomberg was laid off, but had $10 million in equity. That was the beginning of his journey to becoming a billionaire.

Business Insider

He eventually started a company, which became Bloomberg L.P in 1987, and resulted in Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Message, Bloomberg Tradebook, and a radio network. With over 325,000 terminal subscribers worldwide, Bloomberg L.P is one of the largest business information companies in the world.

As of today, Bloomberg is the 8th richest man in the world and is worth around $47.1 billion. However, he's made it clear that he won't be leaving much of that fortune with his children, daughters Emma and Georgina.

NY Daily News

The businessman is also a philanthropist and lives by the 'you give what you can' philosophy.' His very first charitable donation was a $5 check to his college's alumni association, and he has since given over $3 billion in lifetime donations through the Bloomberg Foundation, which supports education, health care and environmental causes.

"Nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation," Bloomberg wrote in a letter to The Giving Pledge.

While Bloomberg's choice is admirable, he's not the only wealthy person who has made a similar decision concerning their fortune. Here are 4 more:

Gina Rinehart


Australia's richest woman, Gina Rinehart, had humble beginnings. She had a fairly normal upbringing, and successful reached the usual milestones like graduating high school. She enrolled at the University of Sydney to study economics, but soon realized the program wasn't for her. In an unexpected move, she dropped out and decided to work with her father and brush up on her knowledge of the Pilabara iron-ore industry.

Using her newfound knowledge, Rinehart rebuilt her father's bankrupt business and turned it into one of Australia's most successful companies. After the death of her father in 1992, she took over the role of CEO of Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited (HPPL) and the HPPL group of companies.

Nowadays, the mining magnate's personal wealth is estimated at $16.5 billion, but since her relationship with some of her family members is a bit rocky, Rinehart has chosen to donate a large chunk of her wealth to charitable causes. At one point, her feud with her son was so bad it had to be settled in court, and as part of the legal settlement, they agreed that half of her estate would be donated.

The richest man in the world also has no plans to share his wealth with his family. Can you guess who?

Bill Gates


Gates, the co-founder of one the world's largest computer companies, developed a love for technology and programming at a very young age. He was barely a teen when he wrote his first computer program. He eventually enrolled at Harvard as a pre-law student, but took math and graduate level computer courses.

In 1975, when the MITS Altair 8800 was released, Gates and his friend Paul Allen knew they could also start their own computer software company. He dropped out of Harvard soon after to pursue his passion.

The following year, Microsoft was formed and the first office was set up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The startup went on to partner with IBM, but Gates ensured that he retained copyright of all of his software and programs. In 1985, Microsoft launched the first retail version of Windows, and the rest is history.


Today, Gates is worth $89.6 billion and is arguably more known for his work as a philanthropist than with Microsoft. Along with his wife, Melinda, Gates co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in the world. The tech tycoon is also part of Giving Pledge, and has already made over $27 billion in lifetime donations. He has no plans to give his wealth to his children.

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

Warren Buffett

CNN Money

Warren Buffett made a name for himself as the CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. The businessman was just 19 when he graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and immediately enrolled at a Columbia University graduate program. He further honed his investment skills during his time at the New York Institute of Finance, and began to create business partnerships.

He eventually partnered up with Charlie Munger to create Buffett Partnership, and the firm later acquired textile manufacturing firm Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett became the company's chairman in 1970s, and still remains in the position.

Buffett is now among the wealthiest people in the world, and has a net worth of around $78.9 billion.

Instead of leaving the majority of his fortune with his children, Buffett pledged to donate 99% of it to charity, including the Buffett Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over the last decade, the billionaire has given away much of his net worth to total an estimated lifetime donation of $21.5 billion.

"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," the business tycoon wrote in a letter to the Gates Foundation.

5. Pierre Omidyar

Huffington Post

At 50 years old, Omidyar is the youngest billionaire on this list, but that doesn't make him any less powerful or generous. The Paris-born Iranian-American businessman is the co-founder and former chairman of eBay, the popular internet auction site.

From a young age onwards, Omidyar was a computer enthusiast. He later graduated with computer science degree from Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts, and worked for a few computer companies before starting his own business venture, a pen-based computer startup called Ink Development.

Over time, the company was renamed eShop and focused on eCommerce. While working on a code for an auction company, 28-year-old Omidyar created a prototype for his own web page. He would later use this to launch Auction Web, which would eventually become eBay.

Decanter Magazine

Three years later, Omidyar became a billionaire. Over the years, his estate kept growing and according to Forbes, he is currently worth nearly $10 billion.

Omidyar started the Omidyar Foundation which includes the Omidyar Network, HopeLab, Humanity United, and Ulupono Initiative. The foundation supports many causes including human rights, hunger relief and entrepreneurship. He has already donated over $1 billion to charity, and he plans to leave very little for his family.

"Our view is fairly simple. We have more money than our family will ever need. 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."

Would you donate all your money to charity too?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.