If you make it big in Hollywood chances are you’re going to make piles upon piles of cash. The Hollywood A list has money to burn; they can buy fancy cars, huge mansions, flashy jewelry, designer clothes and rare and valuable antiques. While some of these things are handed to them, for the most part the Hollywood elite have worked tirelessly to earn such luxuries. They have perfected their craft to create bodies of work which have earned them their reputations and those reputations have earned many of them hundreds of millions of dollars.
Some celebrities believe their children should have to work hard to appreciate the value of money, too. Growing up super wealthy can often lead to a sense of entitlement and a lack of drive – after all, if everything is handed to you why should you have to work for it? It’s often this reasoning that has led many celebrities to cut their kids out of their wills. Instead of just handing over their wealth to their offspring, they’re handing over a valuable life lesson instead. Some celebrities have decided that, after they die, their money should go to charity instead of to their children. More and more celebrities are taking this approach. Some will cut off their children completely, while others may leave them just enough to get by or at least a small safety net. Are these celebrities making the right choice?
Bill Gates famously said that he’ll be giving away the majority of his money to charity after he dies – and a lot of it before, too. His children won’t be left with nothing, but they will reportedly only receive $10 million each. That’s a lot of money, but it’s a pittance of Gate’s over $80 billion fortune. Similarly, billionaire investor Warren Buffett has said he will give away 85% of his $65 billion fortune to charity. His kids won’t be left destitute, but they will have to work to become successful, just like Buffett had to. These are only a few high-profile examples of the rich writing their heirs almost totally out of their wills; the following ten rich celebrities also disinherited their children, for various reasons.
10. Jackie Chan
“If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money,” said Jackie Chan about his son Jaycee. Jaycee Chan will get none of his father’s estimated $130 million fortune. Jackie Chan has said he will donate half his wealth to charity upon his death. Jackie Chan has reportedly been unimpressed with his son’s expensive lifestyle and financial troubles. Chan has attempted to help his son launch a movie career of his own, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out very well. Jaycee Chan has starred in over 20 films, but they have all been financial flops.
9. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose earlier this year, reportedly did not leave any of his $35 million estate to his children because he didn’t like the idea of them being trust fund kids. His accountant apparently brought forth the issue to Hoffman the year before his death, but Hoffman rejected the idea of a trust fund. Instead Hoffman left his entire estate to his long time partner Mimi O’Donnell; she’s also the mother of his children.
Rock legend Sting is worth an astonishing $270 million plus, but his kids will be getting little to none of that fortune when he passes away. Sting joked that he would be spending all his money, but he was serious about not leaving his kids anything. He says he would help them if they were in trouble, but he fully expects them to work for their own money.
7. Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell has amassed his $500 million fortune as a music producer and judge on American Idol and X-Factor. If his son wants to be as wealthy as his dad then he’s going have to work just as hard. Cowell won’t be leaving his son any money, and instead he says he’ll give his fortune to charity after he passes. Probably something involving “kids or dogs.”
6. Nigella Lawson
British Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson won’t be leaving a penny of her millions to her kids. She hasn’t said what she will do with her fortune, but a cancer research charity is certainly possible since her first husband, mother and sister all died from the disease. Lawson’s current husband, Charles Saatchi, does not agree with Lawson’s plan to disinherit her children.
5. George Lucas
Star Wars creator George Lucas earned over $4 billion after selling Lucasfilm to Disney, but the money won’t be left in an inheritance. Instead he will use the money to set up a charitable education fund. He is one of the billionaires that joined Warren Buffett’s giving pledge, and he will give away at least half of his fortune by the time he dies.
4. Joan Crawford
Before her death, Joan Crawford changed her will to cut out two of her adopted children. Her other two children, also adopted, were left just $77,500 each. When she was asked why she cut her son Christopher and daughter Christina out of her will she responded: “for reasons that should be well known to them.”
3. Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis left his five children, including famous daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, nothing. He changed his will just months before his death, and left everything to his widow Jill Curtis. His children believe he changed his will under duress.
2. Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando had 11 children, but two of his family members were not in his will when he died. Brando left a $30 million estate after his death. His adopted daughter Petra Brando-Corval was cut from the will as was his grandson Tuki Brando, who is the son of Brando’s daughter Cheyenne; Cheyenne committed suicide in 1995.
1. Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney left an estate of a mere $18,000, and none of his blood relatives received any of that money. He left the meager sum to his stepson because he didn’t trust any of his children.