Gina Rinehart, an Australian billionaire, has concluded that her children are not fit for an inheritance, reports The Wall Street Journal. And she's using the Australian legal system to make sure that they don't get anything. Obviously the children are fighting back.
Rinehart, who ironically inherited the fortune from her father, says that none of her children have held a real job and that the children are "manifestly unsuitable" to managing the money of the growing HPPL Group, which she owns.
So will her children be able to fight back successfully?
In the U.S., unlike a spouse, a child generally has no legally protected right to inherit a deceased parent’s property. The law does protect children when an unintentional omission in a will occurs, however. The law presumes that such omissions are accidental — especially when the birth of the child occurred after the creation of the will. Depending on whether a spouse survives the decedent, the omitted child may inherit some portion of the deceased parent’s estate. If the omission was intentional, though, the will should expressly state this.
In other words, Gina Rinehart will have to amend her will and trusts.
Of course, there are other examples of billionaires leaving massive inheritances that took a very long time to distribute. This was the case with Wellington R. Burt, as reported by FindLaw’s Law & Daily Life. His heirs had to wait 92 years for their inheritance.
For more information on inheritance, wills, trusts, and the things that Australian (or American) billionaires that disinherit their children might do, please see the resources below.