Splitting Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fortune
Bill and Melinda Gates have decided to move forward separately in their lives. How could they split the Gates fortune? They live in a community property state, which means property and debts obtained during the marriage are generally considered the property of both, and each have an equal share.
As Bill Gates was quite wealthy when they married, and they have a separation agreement detailing how property will be split, they already know how things will proceed. But if they did not, SquareFairy could help them find cost-efficient ways to divide their property fairly and prepare divorce papers (currently handling California).
CNBC listed the various assets in their Breakdown of the Billionaire’s Wealth article. The SquareFairy Proptimizer considers income and capital gains taxes, as well as fees to sell off property, in order to maximize the value the couple receives in the end. We can also show the expected impact of selling off assets, if raising cash is important.
Here is one potential split of their property:
|RE: Medina, WA||$127M|
|RE: Wellington, FL||$55M|
|RE: Del Mar, CA||$20M|
|RE: Indian Wells, CA||$1M|
|RE: Grand Bogue Caye||$25M|
|Misc: Cascade Inv.||$29.9B|
The couple could swap who gets what, and still meet the objective of balancing the properties. If one of them indicates they prefer specific assets, the site will take that into account, and rebalance using other assets.
If the couple had decided simply to sell everything, and divide the resulting cash, it would have cost them over $5.2 Billion in various taxes and real estate fees. They benefited from living in Washington, a state without an income tax, but the tax man always gets his due.
Unless you are Bill or Melinda Gates, you probably do not have their level of net worth. The median net worth of American families varies by age, but is about $200,000 for mid-life couples. That might be spread across their home, stocks, 401ks, vehicles, and various accumulated debts.
The intent (and naming) of SquareFairy is to ensure you and your spouse each get a Fair & Square share of the marital assets. Divorce is often a painful experience, but we are here to help you get through it, and move forward in your life.