Meet the billionaires who won’t be leaving their fortunes to their children

If you're the child of a billionaire, you might think you won't ever have to work a day in your life.

But the super wealthy don't always leave all of their hard-earned cash to their offspring.

Some are merely keen to support good causes, while others also feel it's important for their kids to learn the value of money, develop a work ethic and fend for themselves.

And now, many are making it official, vowing to leave a huge chunk of their fortunes to charities and other good causes.

They're doing this by signing The Giving Pledge, founded by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010.

As part of the pledge, the mega rich can choose the charities and initiatives they would like to help, from refugee aid and disaster relief, to medical research or arts and culture.

To date, 223 wealthy people have signed the pledge. Here are some of the richest…

Ted Turner

Ted Turner (worth £1.7billion) started work at his dad's billboard business, grew it into Turner Broadcasting and made £5.4billion when he sold it to Time Warner in 1996.

What did he do with the cash? He is currently the second-biggest landowner in the USA and has donated £75million to the United Nations.

Reed Hastings

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The next time you are eating crisps and devouring a Netflix box set, you can thank Reed Hastings.

He went from being a door-to-door salesman to co-founding Netflix and is worth £4billion.

Recently, he donated £87million to historically black universities in the US and has also created a £73million fund for education. He is also a Giving Pledge member.

George Lucas

George Lucas is famous for creating Star Wars and he is certainly off the planet rich.

He is worth £5.3billion after selling his company Lucasfilm to Disney.

He has announced half of his fortune will go to The Giving Pledge and has also created The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Warren Buffett

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Investor Warren Buffett once famously said he wants to give his children “just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing”.

Worth £73billion, he has pledged to give more than 99% of his wealth to The Giving Pledge.

Bill Gates

Worth £97 billion, there are reports that Bill Gates is planning to leave just £7 million to each of his children, but these were never confirmed.

In an interview with The Daily Mail in 2011, Gates said leaving “kids massive amounts of money is not a favour to them.”

Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who turned a tiny social media idea into £99billion.

When he and his wife Priscilla had their first child they announced they would be giving away 99% of their company shares over the course of their lifetime to a foundation they created to “promote equality for all children in the next generation”.

Elon Musk

Recent members include Elon Musk – worth £141 billion – who has yet to say where his money will go.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO signed the Pledge in 2012.

But he isn't waiting till he kicks the bucket, either: Musk gave £110million to charity in the first four months of 2021 alone.

Richard Branson

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In the UK Richard Branson, who is worth £3billion, says his cash will go to the Virgin Unite initiative, which is currently working to end conflicts, reduce carbon emissions and using business solutions to protect nature.

Branson and wife Joan write on the Giving Pledge website: "'Stuff' really is not what brings happiness."

Well, it's easy enough for him to say.

Sir Stelios Haji-loannou

Easy Jet founder Sir Stelios Haji-loannou, worth £2.2bn, has also joined. He said he was inspired to hand over the cash after a phone call with philanthropist-in-chief Bill Gates.

The Cypriot-born magnate has channelled his charity donations to education scholarships at the London School of Economics, his own alma mater.

Sir Stelios has also given to the World Wildlife Fund and the Red Cross.

MacKenzie Scott

Unlike Jeff Bezos, his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has signed up to The Pledge.

She will pay out of the Amazon shares worth £41bn she got in their divorce.

Mackenzie has given generously to universities and faith charities.

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