Warren Buffett ends Gates Foundation donations, trusting his children with $100 billion estate

For decades, the friendship between Warren Buffett and Bill Gates–two of the wealthiest people on earth–has been a fascinating story in business.

They met over 30 years ago at a meeting neither wanted to attend but became close friends and colleagues. Gates joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2004 and served until 2020, while Buffett was on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation board until 2021.

Warren Buffett. Photo: Getty Images

In 2006, Buffett pledged 85% of his Berkshire stock, worth about $37 billion, to charity, primarily to the Gates Foundation, totaling over $43 billion in donations to date. He also co-founded The Giving Pledge in 2010, encouraging billionaires to donate most of their wealth.

Laws in respect to philanthropy will change from time to time, and wise trustees above ground are preferable to any strictures written by someone long gone

Buffett wrote in a letter last year

However, Buffett recently revealed that his donations to the Gates Foundation would cease after his death, entrusting his three children to decide the future of his fortune. He believes his children, now prepared, are the best to handle his estate, stipulating that “more than 99 percent” will go to philanthropy. Buffett emphasizes the importance of trusting successors to adapt to changing circumstances and make decisions without restrictive mandates, a lesson valuable for any leader.

Buffett says he will instead put his children, “whom I trust completely,” in charge of deciding what happens to his money when he dies. “I feel very, very good about the values of my three children, and I have 100 percent trust in how they will carry things out,” Buffett told the Journal.

Source: Inc Magazine