How Bill Gates may divide Microsoft fortune in divorce and why his kids will only inherit $10million each

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MANY were wondering how the Microsoft fortune would be divided after Bill and Melinda Gates announced they are getting divorced on Monday.

Gates has been open in the past about how each of his three children will only inherit $10million of his fortune, but never publicly stated whether there was a prenuptial agreement when he married Melinda.


Bill and Melinda Gates announced they are getting a divorce on Monday[/caption]

Instagram/Jennifer Gates

The couple has three children[/caption]

The Microsoft co-founder is worth an estimated $124billion and has been married to Melinda for 27 years.

They share three children and founded the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation in 2000 to address several major global issues.

The couple has donated $45billion through the foundation since its inception.

In 2020, the couple pledged more than $400million to various causes related to developing and distributing Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

However, that still leaves quite a bit of cash for the couple to split in a divorce.

Handout – Getty

It’s unclear if the couple signed a prenup before they were married[/caption]

Rumor has it the couple did sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot in 1994, according to a New York Times article published in 1997.

However, the details of that prenup — and confirmation that one exists — are hard to come by.

Keon Family Law alleges that Gates reportedly had his wife sign a prenup to protect Microsoft.

“After their marriage in 1994, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reportedly had his wife sign a prenuptial, perhaps in consideration of the preservation of his company and its shareholders,” their website says.

Instagram/Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates were married in 1994[/caption]

“Washington State, where Gates resides, is a community property state. In the event of divorce, absent a prenuptial agreement, half of Bill Gates 24% holdings in Microsoft could be in unfriendly hands.”

Bill has been more forthright in the past about how he plans to leave his children slightly smaller pieces of his fortune, comparitively speaking at least.

When asked about rumors that he would only leave his three children — Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe — $10million each during a Reddit AMA session in 2013, Gates explained that it was for their benefit.

“I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” he said.

“Warren Buffett was part of an article in Fortune talking about this in 1986 before I met him and it made me think about it and decide he was right.”

In the statement announcing their divorce, the couple said that they planned to continue working on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation together.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” the statement said.

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