Is Melinda Gates Trying To Change How Much Money Her Kids Will Inherit?

Ever since the news broke in May that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, were pursuing divorce, a number of ensuing revelations about the state of their relationship have begun to unfurl. Among them include the former tech CEO's possible affair with a Microsoft employee, as well as a possible ongoing situation-ship with an ex-girlfriend of which Melinda Gates was aware, as well as allegations that a divorce had feasibly been in the works since 2019. Now, another facet has recently come to light: that Melinda might be attempting to change the amount of inheritance the children she had with Bill might receive upon the event of their deaths.

In an exclusive with Page Six, two divorce attorneys opined that a major factor in the legalities of the Gates' split could heavily impact the amount which their children, Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe, would potentially receive after the death of their parents. Famously, the Gates have made headlines over the years about their planned inheritance allotment from their children — specifically, their plan that all three children would receive less than one percent out of their $130 billion fortune. (Per Page Six, the number each Gates progeny would receive would total around $10 million apiece.) But now, it looks like a game-changer might be afoot, all due to Melinda herself. Keep on scrolling to find out more.

Melinda Gates could fight to increase her kids' inheritance

According to Harriet Newman Cohen and Martha Cohen Stine, both attorneys who specialize in divorce, there is one key clue into whether or not Melinda Gates might be gunning to up the amount of inheritance the Gates children would receive: her inclusion of trust and estate lawyers as part of her legal team for her in-progress divorce, in addition to the usual types of lawyers who deal specifically with divorce as a whole. Per the experts that spoke to Page Six, it's "most unusual for trust and estate lawyers' names to be listed on a divorce filing."

Newman Cohen also stated that the divorce itself could stem from the decision to leave a fraction of their billions-worth fortune to Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe, a move engineered primarily by Bill Gates all along. "Bill Gates proudly announced to the world he was leaving $10 million to each of his three children, and that the rest of the billions will be left to charity ... now that Melinda has control — maybe she wanted to leave more to her children than $10 million each," opined Newman Cohen, adding "maybe she didn't agree." And while the gesture of leaving their wealth to various philanthropic efforts could be seen as a noble enterprise, the Gates kids and Melinda could feasibly view it as "tantamount to disinheriting the children." And as others have similarly opined, when there's so much money at stake, any amount can feel worth fighting over.