Is it wrong to leave too much to your next of kin? Elton John certainly thinks so.
According to The Mirror, Sir Elton and his husband, David Furnish, are drafting up their wills – and they’re eager to ensure their two sons, Elijah and Zachary, will not inherit the whole $400 million fortune.
But this is far from cruelty – it comes from a place of incredible love. They simply want their children to be able to make their own way in life.
“Of course I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state,” says Sir Elton. “But it’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life”.
“Listen, the boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work”.
“Having children changed everything about my life,” he added.
“I’ve learned that the simplest things in life – like having a minute with them – are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or any hit record.
“Before we had the children we just had our lives, and would spend money because we didn’t have anything else to focus on. We have really toned things down because we have enough stuff. There is nothing else we need.”
David pointed to the example of Warren Buffet, the third wealthiest man in America, who “has a really cool model in that he leaves his children enough money so that they have a house, a car and all their basic needs covered and cared for so they never need worry”.
“But it’s not crazy, silly, go-wild money so that they could be buying Picassos or private jets”.
“Anything beyond the basic, they have to go out and earn it themselves… If they want a Picasso, they have to go out and earn it. I think there’s real sensibility in that.”
“The greatest joys, everything Elton and I have created, have come from hard work and that’s where your self-esteem comes from.”
Sir Elton, who came from a “very working class family”, added that he earned everything he did from hard work, “and that’s the way they’ve got to do it as well”.
“They have to do chores in the house – take their plates to be cleaned, help in the kitchen, tidy their rooms and help in the garden, and each time they do they get a little star to put on these charts they’ve made. They understand they need to do these things, and they enjoy it”.
Do you agree with Elton and David’s plan? Is it better to love your children by leaving them with less?