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Choosing wills that favor charities instead of children

Sting, the former frontman of the band, The Police, recently announced he does not plan to leave his fortune to his children upon his death. Instead, he says the family is going to spend the money. The 62-year-old music star went on to explain that he has already earmarked a large portion of his approximate $300 million fortune. As for the rest, he said he did not want an extravagant inheritance to become an "albatrosses round their necks."

Sting is not the only wealthy person choosing wills that don't leave every asset to the children. Bill Gates, who has so far amassed an estimated fortune of $78.6 billion recently said he believes it would "be no favor" to leave the entirety of his wealth to his kids. Instead, Gates plans to leave the lion's share of his fortune to his charity, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Similarly, Warren Buffet, who has an estimated wealth of $65.1 billion, has reportedly not been hesitant to talk about his dislike for dynastic wealth. News sources say Buffet plans to leave 99 percent of his accumulated fortune to charity. Reports also say the billionaire encourages other wealthy people to do the same.

Film star and martial arts expert, Jackie Chan, reportedly said he will leave 100 percent of his estimated $140 million fortune to charity, setting none aside for his son. Sources also say film magnate George Lucas, who is worth approximately $4.9 billion, plans to donate the proceeds from the sale of the lucrative Star Wars franchise to charities dedicated to improving education.

Even those with modest bank accounts or small fortunes can opt to reserve large shares of their assets to charity. Believers claim it's a good idea to encourage offspring to make their own way while supporting organizations that bring real relief to those less fortunate. Those interested in creating or modifying wills to favor charitable organizations may find the advice of an estate planning attorney very valuable.

Source: Time Magazine: Money, "10 Celebs (Besides Sting) Who’ve Cut Their Kids Out of their Wills" Srividya Kalyanaraman, Jun. 24, 2014

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