Famous People Who Cut Relatives Out of Their Wills

Robert Kardashian

Famed defense attorney for O.J. Simpson Robert Kardashian possessed a net worth of $30 million. After his long battle with cancer, he left his wife, Ellen Pierson, his estate. He’d only married Pierson less than a year before. Left out of his will were his first wife and four children– Khloe, Kourtney, Kim, and Rob.

Robert, Kris, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian at Kim Kardashian
Regardless of the fact that they went on to make their own incredibly successful careers, they were outraged and contested the will in court. The lawsuit claimed that Robert’s widow had forged documents, and ended up being rejected by the court.

It’s long since been believed that the best way, not to mention the quickest, to becoming rich is getting an inheritance. After all, you basically win a type of lottery at birth. But some famous individuals – we’re talking millionaires and billionaires – decided that leaving their money to children and grandchildren would be both unfair and downright dangerous.

SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Angelina Jolie attends The 23rd Annual Critics

Some of the richest people in the world decided to forgo keeping it in the family and maximizing their family legacy. They had a far broader vision.: to make sure that their kids and grandkids worked hard and earned fortunes on their own merits. These ultra-wealthy left their children out of their wills, and some of them even decided to cut them out entirely!

Elton John
With a net worth of $500 million, Elton John has produced more than 30 albums, toured regularly, and brought unending happiness to the world. He’s even the man who wrote the song for the soundtrack to the Disney classic The Lion King named “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, which won an Oscar.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, Zachary Furnish-John, and Sir Elton John attend the 23rd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF)

Elton has two sons who’ve grown up in the limelight of their father’s fame and fortune. He told the Daily Mirror newspaper that after he passes, they will need to find their own paths to success. “Of course, I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state. But it’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life.”

Aaron Spelling
Famed TV producer Aaron Spelling was worth roughly $600 million. For years, he had the golden touch when it came to television. He produced shows which included Charlie’s AngelsStarsky & HutchMelrose PlaceBeverly Hills 90210The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island. Spelling used the fruits of his success to spoil his children Tori and Randy with lavish trips and gifts, and ended up building one of the biggest mansions in Beverly Hills.

Tori Spelling, Aaron Spelling & Candy Spelling during The 15th Carousel Of Hope Ball - Arrivals at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Later on, Spelling decided that his children couldn’t handle the immense riches due to their outrageous spending habits. After his passing, it’s reported that he left his daughter Tori with less than one million dollars out of his $600 million fortune.

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons’s initial pathway to success was by being the bassist and co-lead singer of KISS, the famous 1970s glam-metal rock group. Simmons added to his income from music royalties over the last several decades by investing in restaurants, motorsports, and commercial cannabis.

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed with children Nick and Sophie (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

Although a multimillionaire for many years, Simmons was raised poor. In an interview with CNBC, he made it clear that he wants his son and daughter to be hungry to create their own success. “Every day they should be forced to get up out of bed and go out and work and make their own way,” he stated.

Sean Connery

Sean Connery, the man best known as the actor who played secret agent James Bond, grew up under very challenging circumstances. In a childhood that was anything but glamorous, Connery dropped out of school at age 13. He went on to work as a truck driver, milk delivery boy, and even a coffin polisher. Later on, he eventually learned to cash in his good looks as a bodybuilder, model, and, eventually, as an actor.

Scottish actor Sean Connery with his wife Micheline, his son Jason Connery and actress Mia Sara (right), circa 1995. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)

Connery built his nine-figure fortune and earned a knighthood through appearing in dozens of films over the span of six decades. However, according to his ex-wife Diane Cilento, Connery didn’t hand it over to his only son Jason. After being asked for his reaction, Jason defended his father, telling The Telegraph that his father “earned this money, through nothing but his own tireless hard work, and what he does with it and who he gives it to is completely up to him.”

Andrew Lloyd Weber
With a net worth of $1.2 billion, yes, billion, award-winning playwright and composer Andrew Lloyd Weber has shown that it’s possible to produce both quality and quantity. Over the last fifty years, Weber has crafted some of the most lasting scores for both the stage and the screen, including The Phantom of the OperaCatsEvita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. He has won dozens of awards and made his way into the exclusive EGOT club by having won Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Madeleine Gurdon, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and his daughter Isabella Lloyd Webber attend a summer party hosted by Sir David Frost at Royal Hospital Chelsea on July 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

While it’s still unknown what will happen to his fortune after his death, Weber shared in an interview with the Daily Mirror his financial plans and emphasized his value of hard work as opposed to inherited wealth. Regarding his five children from two marriages, Weber stated, “They aren’t bothered. They don’t think that way. It is about having a work ethic – I don’t believe in inherited money at all.”

Gordon Ramsay

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay doesn’t make friends by patting people on the back or through kind words. With an estimated worth of $220 million, Ramsay’s fame is rooted in his quick temper and harsh rhetoric to staff and critics alike. Even though his success has resulted in a nine-figure fortune, he seems to have no interest in willing it to his five children.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Gordon Ramsay, Holly Anna Ramsay, Matilda Ramsay, Jack Scott Ramsay, Megan Jane Ramsay and Tana Ramsay attend the BAFTA Children

Ramsay shared his belief of tough love in an interview with The Telegraph, where he indicated that he planned to give most of his money to charity. “I’ve never been really turned on about the money. [My kids] don’t sit with us in first class. They haven’t worked anywhere near hard enough to afford that,” he stated.

Barron Hilton

Barron Hilton, chairman, and heir of the Hilton Hotel Corporation, has a net worth of $4.5 billion. Having inherited the fortune of his father Conrad, the man who started the hotel chain under the family name and became a world leader in hospitality, Barron grew up a millionaire, and he made sure to take advantage of the unlimited access and choices that came with his riches. He started the American Football League, which later merged with the NFL and created the Super Bowl, and indulged in a pricey hobby as a private pilot.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14: Paris Hilton and Barron Hilton are seen at Dan Tanas on April 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)

However, when it came to passing along his estate to his eight children and high-profile grandchildren, which include Paris and Nicki Hilton, Barron chose a different route. He decided to break the family tradition and donated 97% of his wealth to charity, with most of it going to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Bill Gates
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has a whopping net worth of $106.8 billion. Nobody ever expected him to become the richest person in the world for a majority of the last 20 years, let alone a millionaire by the time he was 26. Gates dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft with his childhood friend, Paul Allen.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) Jennifer Gates and her parents, Bill and Melinda Gates, listen to former U.S. President Barack Obama speak at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Bill and his ex-wife Melinda have invested their fortune into inspiring and enabling others to improve conditions for the less fortunate in the world. Before announcing their separation after 27 years together, the two created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where over 99% of their legacy will be dedicated. Though the two have shared that they will give a relatively modest $10 million to each of their three children, they call on other billionaires to follow suit. They have encouraged others to dedicate their inheritance to a higher cause through a program called The Giving Pledge.

Joan Crawford

Actress Joan Crawford had four children and a net worth of about two million dollars. Even though she rose to fame in 1930s Hollywood and became known for her beauty, acting range, and sultry demeanor, she had a not-so-pleasant side. Adopted daughter Christina chronicled Crawford’s abusive behavior, which she only demonstrated off-set, in her memoir Mommie Dearest, published a year after her mother’s death in 1977.

American actor Joan Crawford (1904 - 1977) hugs her adopted daughter Christina, wearing matching outfits, June 1944. (Photo by Gene Lester/Getty Images)

Crawford left her two younger children, Cindy and Cathy, $77,500 each but she cut children Christina and Christopher out of her will entirely. She stated, “It is my intention to make no provision herein for my son Christopher or my daughter Christina for reasons which are well known to them.”

Sonny Bono

Sonny Bono, famous singer and ex-husband of Cher, had a net worth of an estimated four million dollars. The two had several children together, including son Chaz Bono, and were married several years before they had a falling out. Sonny’s death was the result of a shocking skiing accident in 1998 at age sixty-two when he crashed headfirst into a tree and died on impact as he was not wearing a helmet.

American pop singing duo Sonny & Cher with their daughter Chastity (later Chaz), circa 1973. Left to right: Chastity Bono, Sonny Bono (1935 - 1998) and Cher. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

At the time Sonny passed, he and Chaz were estranged. Chaz and Cher were also not on speaking terms but eventually reconciled. It’s alleged that part of the reason Chaz was estranged from his father was due to Sonny’s connection to the Church of Scientology.


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