Simon Cowell is known for being the harsh, brutally honest, and even sometimes kind of mean judge on TV talent competitions. The producer, media company owner, and creator of popular shows such as The X Factor and America’s Got Talent has certainly done well for himself over his career. All of this in spite of his tough-as-nails TV persona. Now a doting father, Simon Cowell has said that none of his $600 million net worth will go to his son, Eric. He plans on donating all of it to charity.
Simon Cowell Says He Won’t Be Leaving Any Of His Fortune To His Son
Simon Cowell is an extremely successful entertainment business owner, producer, and TV personality as the judge of reality talent competitions in both the UK and the United States. Now, however, he can add another role to his resume: He is a father. Cowell became a father in 2014, a moment that he said changed him as a person. Before the birth of his son, Eric, however, he said in an interview that none of his now $600 million net worth will be passed along to his son. He said that he doesn’t believe in passing fortunes down to the next generation. (1)
“I’m going to leave my money to somebody. A charity, probably — kids and dogs,” he said in 2013. “I don’t believe in passing on from one generation to another.”
Cowell says rather than just leaving his son a bunch of money, he prefers to leave him his legacy. Something that will help his son develop his own successful career in whatever field he chooses. The idea is that he will use his career and success to help his son build his own wealth. (2)
“Your legacy has to be that hopefully you gave enough people an opportunity, so that they could do well, and you gave them your time, taught them what you know.” he said.
Simon Cowell’s Wealth Will Go To Charity
Simon Cowell’s net worth currently sits at around $600 million. All of that money, he says, will go to a charity. He has not yet picked which charity he will donate to, however, he says it will probably have something to do with kids or dogs.
Simon Cowell is Not the Only One
Simon Cowell is not the only celebrity that has said that their money will be going to charity and not their children. Famous TV anchor Anderson Cooper is one that has shared similar sentiments to Cowell. Cooper welcomed his child via surrogacy in 2020.
“I don’t believe in passing on huge amounts of money,” he said. “I’m not that interested in money, but I don’t intend to have some sort of pot of gold for my son. I’ll go with what my parents said… ‘College will be paid for, and then you got to get on it.’ ” (3)
One of the world’s richest people, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has also promised that his kids won’t be inheriting his billions. Most of his wealth, along with that of his ex-wife Melinda Gates, will be fueled directly back into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation is working to eliminate poverty, hunger, and disease worldwide. (4)
“It’s not a favor to kids to have them have huge sums of wealth,” Gates explained. “It distorts anything they might do, creating their own path.”
Other celebrities that have also said no to generationally accrued wealth include Jackie Chan, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Gordon Ramsey, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, and Sir Elton John.
“We have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation,” Facebook creator Zuckerberg and his wife posted on Facebook. “Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”
Read: Jennifer Aniston was left out of her estranged mom’s will, despite paying her medical bills before she died
Pros and Cons of Leaving Children a Large Inheritance
Many celebrities and other wealthy people are abandoning the idea of leaving their children with huge sums of money when they die. Their reasonings are all the same: They want their kids to establish themselves and learn the value of hard work. These people don’t want lazy, entitled children. Rather, they want their kids to grow to be adults with purpose.
Many also recognize that their own children will benefit massively from no school debt and the opportunities that naturally come from having successful, well-connected parents. There are millions of children around the world that don’t have those opportunities. They prefer to leave their wealth to organizations that are helping disadvantaged children and people in the world. Their children, many say, are already benefiting from the extreme privilege of being a part of the family they were born into.
“I think it is not in the next generation’s best interest to leave them a large sum of money,” said Lynn Chen-Zhang, owner of a highly successful financial advisory firm. “From a selfish standpoint, I want my kids to be successful. I want them to be contributing members [of] society.” (5)
A Way To Help Your Kids Without Helping Too Much
Many of the extremely wealthy worry that leaving their children too much money will negate their desire and drive to work hard. What many celebrities have said is that their children’s education will be paid for, which is a huge financial relief, particularly for American children. Naturally, they will make sure that their children will be taken care of. For many of them, this means inheriting shares or entitlements to certain parts of their businesses. Huge sums of money, no.
Another route some go is to set up a trust for their children. This ensures a slow release of money, rather than getting dumped with a wad of cash all at once. With this slow-release, it is enough to ensure their children’s well-being without giving so much that the children don’t feel the need to work and make their own money. (6)
At the end of the day, whether you have millions of dollars to pass on or just a few, how you do that is up to you. As parents, the goal is always to raise humble, hardworking children who understand the value of money and privilege. Whether you choose to teach them that by not leaving them your personal fortune is your decision.
Keep Reading: Oprah Winfrey Gave Birth at 14 & ‘Never Felt like It Was’ Her Baby
- “Here’s Why Simon Cowell’s Son Won’t Inherit His Multimillion-Dollar Fortune.” IB Times. Alexis Ty. February 19, 2021.
- “Simon Cowell says he won’t leave his fortune to his son.” CNBC. Robert Frank. September 6, 2013.
- “Anderson Cooper won’t leave his son an inheritance. Do trust funds do more harm than good?” USA Today. Cydney Henderson. October 14, 2021.
- “21 insanely wealthy people who aren’t leaving it to the kids.” Yahoo. Justin Anderson. December 27, 2021.
- “How Much Inheritance Is Too Much?” The Atlantic. October 25, 2019.
- “Considerations About Passing an Inheritance to Children.” Investopedia. Stephanie Powers. December 30, 2021.