Bill Gates plans to give his children $10m inheritance - a tiny fraction of his $120bn fortune

Sandra Salathe
Tuesday 18 May 2021 14:50
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Bill Gates plans to give his children $10m inheritance - a tiny fraction of his $70bn net worth(AFP via Getty Images)

You would think being the child of a billionaire comes with a series of perks. For Bill and Melinda Gates’ three children, it’s slightly more complex. After Bill Gates continuously mentioned he’s leaving his children a $10 million apiece inheritance, it seems his children might receive more thanks to their mother, Melinda.

To be honest, we’d be content with $1 million alone, but alas; we’re not the offspring of a tech billionaire with an estimated $120 billion fortune.

According to divorce experts, Melinda may seek to change her three children’s inheritance, after taking the apparently unusual measure of naming top trust and estate lawyers as her representatives in her divorce filing.

Earlier this month, news of Bill and Melinda’s separation broke the internet, with the power couple announcing they were ending their 27-year marriage in a statement.

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the pair wrote. “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

What initially started as an amicable split, with the intent to continue philanthropic ventures together, swiftly became more complicated. Reports of a long relationship between Bill Gates and late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein have been back in the news, as well as resurfaced allegations of Gates’ affair with a former Microsoft employee.

In her divorce filing, Melinda said a separation agreement was in place, and if the parameters of the children’s inheritance are not detailed in the pact, sources say either party could change the details.

Bill has remained open about the amount of money he plans to leave his children, Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18, saying: “I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them.” He added that while certain individuals might disagree with that, he and Melinda “feel good about it.”

Top divorce lawyer Robert Cohen of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich will be representing Melinda. His clients have included Michael Bloomberg and Ivana Trump. In addition, Melinda has enlisted estate planning attorney Loretta Ippolito of Paul Weiss, as well as the firm’s Bruce Birenboim, who has repped Citigroup and the NFL.

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