Warren Buffett said his will and the donation of his fortune to charitable causes after his death will be open to public scrutiny, though the 93-year-old billionaire said he’s still doing fine for now.
“I feel good but fully realize I am playing in extra innings,” the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chief executive officer said in a Thanksgiving letter to shareholders. He’s long pledged that more than 99% of his wealth will go to philanthropy.
“After my death, the disposition of my assets will be an open book — no ‘imaginative’ trusts or foreign entities to avoid public scrutiny but rather a simple will available for inspection at the Douglas County Courthouse” in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lives.
Buffett is the world’s ninth-richest person, with a $120.8 billion net worth.
In 2010, he started the Giving Pledge, with his friends Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, saying he would donate his fortune either in his lifetime or at his death. Four years earlier, he started making massive donations to the Gates’s foundation, as well as foundations tied to his children.
Buffett’s three children, who range in age from 65 to 70, are the executors of his current will as well as the named trustees of the charitable trust that will receive his fortune, he said in the letter.
“They were not fully prepared for this awesome responsibility in 2006, but they are now,” Buffett said. “In administering the testamentary trust, the three must act unanimously. Because of the random nature of mortality, successors must always be designated. The trust’s charter will be broad.”
Buffett also said in the letter that he donated Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at more than $868 million to charities, including one named after his late wife, this week.
Buffett gave 1.5 million Class B shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and 300,000 shares each to the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation, according to a letter — the same number of shares donated to each group last year.
He made the donation after converting 1,600 Class A shares into 2.4 million Class B shares.