Former Dragon will leave fortune to children

Theo Paphitis

There are plenty of millionaires who say that they won't be leaving a penny to their children. They argue that they built their fortune up from nothing, and that their children should do the same.

Former Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis disagrees. But why, and who is right?

Cut out

There have always been incredibly rich people who cut their children out of their will out of malice. However, in recent years, it has become much more common for millionaires to cut their children out of their will for their own good.

Last month the Mirror reported that Simon Cowell wouldn't be leaving his £225 million fortune to his as-yet-unborn-child, because he's going to give it away to charity. He said at the time that he didn't believe in passing money down through the generations, and that the only legacy he would give anyone was the opportunity to do their best.

Paphitis' old co-star Duncan Bannatyne said he wouldn't be leaving his children a penny because it would ruin them.

Famously Body Shop founder Anita Roddick said she would leave nothing to her children, and she kept her word when she died in 2007. She had gone on record as saying she thought that giving money to family members was obscene, so she gave away her £51 million fortune to fund green issues, human rights organisations and those fighting Third World debt. Her children have spoken out in support of her decision.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has also stated that he won't be giving all his money to his children, because it has a negative effect, and it removes any incentive to make something of their life and their work. He said they would have a start in life, but not riches beyond their wildest dreams.


However, Paphitis disagrees. He is already known for using the phrase: "Why should I spend my children's inheritance on this?" on Dragons' Den.

He told the Daily Mail that it would be cruel to take away the luxuries that his children have grown to expect. He said he loves his children (aged 34, 32, 26 and twins aged 17), and there's no reason why he shouldn't support them.

He already donates a great deal of money to a Charitable Trust which gives the cash to causes close to his heart, and is a Director of Comic Relief, so he believes in doing his bit for those beyond the family. It's just that he feels this shouldn't come entirely at the expense of his offspring.

But what do you think? Do you believe in giving the children all you can afford, or do you think giving them too much could have an adverse effect? Let us know in the comments.

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