There are a ton of billionaires on this planet, believe it or not. While there are plenty of these wealthy people who have made their own fortunes, there are those heirs and heiresses who have inherited their vast wealth.
Those who have passed on their wealth have worked hard to build their family names and brands, so naturally they care about passing a good business to their successors. Take a peek as we dive into the top ten biggest fortunes that have been left in wills.
10. Elaine Marshall (J. Howard Marshall II)
J. Howard Marshall II famously married Anna Nicole Smith and then died a little over a year later. His children fought with Anna Nicole for years before his son E. Pierce Marshall received the bulk of his estate. After he died in 2006, the fortune went to E. Pierce’s wife Elaine in 2012 who has gone into hiding to avoid the spotlight.
9. Travis Knight (Phil Knight)
Travis Knight is the son of Nike founder Phil Knight and the CEO and President of Laika, his dad’s studio which does stop motion animation. The brand has seen new heights thanks to the movies Coraline, The BoxTrolls and ParaNorman. Phil’s net worth hovers at around $28 billion and his son Travis will see a $16.3 billion windfall upon his passing.
8. Iris Fontbona (Andronico Luksic Abaroa)
Iris Fontbona is a super wealthy woman whose husband Andronico founded the Luksic Group which earned him $15.7 billion. When he passed away from cancer in 2005, he passed his wealth to his wife Iris. At the age of 62, she inherited a whopping $19.2 billion in cash and other assets. Now that she is 73 years old, she is enjoying her retirement in Chile.
7. Lauren Powell Jobs (Steve Jobs)
Everyone on the planet knows that Steve Jobs was the pioneering vision behind the Apple brand until his untimely passing in 2011. He left behind his huge fortune of $19.5 billion, a $8.7 billion stake in the Walt Disney Company and 40 million shares of Apple to his loving wife Lauren Jobs. Since, she has launched the Super School Project that works to create high schools that will better meet the needs of the students of today. Steve would be so proud!
6. David Thomson (Kenneth Thomson)
Roy Herbert Thomson launched a radio station and owned newspapers in Canada until his death in 1976, passing his immense wealth to his son Kenneth Thomson. Kenneth owned The Times in Great Britain and the Jerusalem Post along with a bunch of television networks. Kenneth passed away in 2006 and bequeathed his fortune to his son David. David inherited a whopping $20 billion fortune and merged his media company with Reuters to become Thomson Reuters in 2008. His family is the richest in Canada, topping out their collective wealth at $37 billion.
5. Tamiko Bolton & Soros Siblings (George Soros)
George Soros famously broke the bank of England during the Black Wednesday currency crisis and earned himself a cool total of $24.9 billion since. Despite being in his eighties, he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Soros has five children who stand to inherit an epic ton of cash should he eventually pass on. His wife Tamiko Bolton is also going to be filthy rich and will have plenty of time to spend her inheritance since she is only in her forties.
4. Brett Icahn (Carl Icahn)
Carl Icahn is a billionaire investor who founded New York’s Icahn Enterprises. Carl currently has amassed a total of $21.3 billion as his net worth and isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon. Despite having a lucrative career of his own, Brett stands to inherit almost $22 billion upon his father’s passing. Brett also owns shares in Apple and Netflix which have shown him some pretty great returns.
3. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht, Jr. (Karl Albrecht, Sr.)
Karl Albrecht, Sr. and Theo Albrecht founded the Aldi stores after taking over their mother’s store in 1913. Karl Sr. passed away in 2014 and left his fortune to his sons Karl Jr. and Beate Heister. The Albrecht brothers inherited a whopping $21.3 billion and are now advisors on the board at Aldi.
2. Maria Franca Fissolo (Michele Ferrero)
If you’ve heard of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, then you have heard of Michele Ferrero’s work. He was the man behind the popular chocolate brand and is known for brands such as Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and Kinder Eggs. As an astute business man, he earned his way to $26.7 billion. In 1997, Michele named his sons Giovanni and Pietro as joint CEOs until Pietro’s passing in 2011. Four years later, Michele passed away, leaving the business to his wife Maria Fissolo. She currently enjoys her retirement in Monaco while Giovanni runs the business.
1. Walton Family (Sam Walton)
It’s hard to throw a rock anywhere in the United States and miss a Walmart store. Walmart was the brainchild of Sam Walton, but his family is seeing the benefits of his business savvy. Sam wanted to create a business that had products everyone could afford. In 1992, he passed away and left his fortune to his wife Helen Robson. She passed away in 2007 and the family fortune was passed on to their four kids, Rob, John, Jim and Alice. Their total inheritance hovers around $100 billion in cash and various assets.