Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Warren Buffet gives $30.7 billion to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

On June 26, 2006, USA Today reported that Warren Buffet, the well-known international investor, gave a total of $30.7 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, approximately $1.5 billion a year. See Warren Buffett signs over $30.7B to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Some interesting points about the gift from the article: 
The money from Buffett, who is 75 but considered strong and healthy, comes with a significant catch. The letter says Buffett wants all his money to be distributed in the year it is donated, not added to the foundation's assets for future giving. The foundation gave away $1.36 billion in 2005, so the Buffett commitment would effectively double its spending.
The gifts would be worth nearly $37 billion, which represents the bulk of the $44 billion that Buffet's stock holdings are worth today. Five-sixths of the shares, roughly $30.7 billion, will be earmarked for the Gates Foundation.
The Buffett pledge also requires that Bill and Melinda Gates remain alive and active in the policy-setting and administration of the foundation. Buffett plans to give each foundation 5% of his total pledge each year in July.
USA Today reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest U.S. foundation, with The Ford Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust rounding out the top three.


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