Giving It All Away, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

A recent trend among the megawealthy is to give all or most of their fortune away to charitable causes either during their lifetimes or in their estate plans. While the intentions are noble, there is a potential drawback that you should be aware of.

Yahoo Finance reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook is the latest wealthy American to announce plans to give his entire fortune to charity. Cook plans to pay for his nephew’s college education and give everything else away.

You can read more about this story in the original article titled “Apple’s Tim Cook will give away all his money.”

This is a trend that started with Warren Buffet, who encourages billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. The theory is that you can rear your family well enough so they will be able to take care of themselves and not need to inherit the wealth.

However, the big potential drawback to this plan is that family members may not agree that they do not need the inheritance.

In fact, the views of your family members regarding what they need or want might be very different from yours.

It is better to uncover their thinking now before you are gone.


Because estate litigation can be very expensive and unduly enrich trial attorneys.

Accordingly, if you plan to give all of your wealth to charities, then it is only prudent that you communicate this with your family members sooner rather than later.

It is important that you get your family to buy into the plan while you can.

Reference: Yahoo Finance (March 26, 2015) “Apple’s Tim Cook will give away all his money.”

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