Monday, July 15, 2024

Warren Buffett Changes His Will, Gates Foundation Donations

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Warren Buffett revised his will and gave his biggest yearly donation yet to five charities.

Buffett told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that almost all of his fortune, valued at about $130 billion, will now go into a new charitable trust upon his death. Buffett’s children, Susie, Howie, and Peter Buffett, will helm the organization together and must unanimously choose where the money goes.

“I feel very, very good about the values of my three children, and I have 100% trust in how they will carry things out,” Buffett told the Journal.

Warren Buffett. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The new will ensures that more than 99% of Buffett’s estate will go towards philanthropic efforts, per a Berkshire Hathaway press statement. Buffett signed the Giving Pledge in 2006 to give more than 99% of his wealth to charitable causes during his lifetime or death.

Related: Warren Buffett Answers Succession Question at Annual Meeting

Buffett currently donates yearly to five organizations: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Susan A. Buffett Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is named after Buffett’s late first wife and chaired by his daughter; the final three are run by each of his children.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received the bulk of the donation, with 9.93 million shares. Buffett donated 993,035 shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and 695,122 shares each to the remaining three.

Buffett disclosed to the Journal that his annual contributions to the five organizations will only occur across his lifetime.

“The Gates Foundation has no money coming after my death,” Buffett, who resigned from the Gates Foundation board in 2021, told the publication.

Related: Melinda French Gates Resigns From Gates Foundation

Buffett began giving to each of these foundations annually beginning in 2006. His contribution this year was his highest one yet, coming in at 13 million, or $5.3 billion, of Berkshire Hathaway class B shares.

In the past 18 years of giving to these organizations, Buffett has donated over $55 billion.

The record $5.3 billion contribution on Friday brings Buffett’s net worth down to nearly $130 billion, making him now the tenth richest person in the world instead of the eighth, per Forbes estimates.

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