Paris Hilton's Grandfather Barron Hilton Wills 97 Percent Of His $2.5 Billion Dollar Fortune To Family's Charity
Paris Hilton’s grandfather - hotel heir Barron Hilton - passed away on Thursday at the age of 91, and he has reportedly left 97 percent of his $2.5 billion fortune to his family’s non-profit charitable foundation. Still, surviving family members will inherit millions, and some believe the move is a way for the family to hang on to the entire fortune without paying the “death tax.”
Barron Hilton was the son of Conrad Hilton, who founded the Hilton Hotel chain nearly a century ago, and over the next few decades he created a multi-million dollar empire along with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which is a charity that funds non-profit organizations who are working to improve the lives of people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. Some of the foundation's beneficiaries are Catholic nuns, disaster relief, homelessness, foster youth, and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
When Conrad died in 1979, Barron challenged his father’s will over the Foundation’s shares of the fortune that were being used to help the nuns because he was worried it was setting the company up for a hostile takeover.
After a ten-year legal battle over the estate - which Barron called “not the best public relations move,” they reached a settlement. Barron went on to expand his father’s business empire, making the Hilton hotel chain tops in the hospitality industry. He also became a founding member of the American Football League with his team the Los Angeles Chargers, and he oversaw the AFL-NFL merger.
In 2007, Barron sold the family’s hotel chain - which had 2,800 hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria - to the Blackstone Group for $26 billion.
According to The Daily Mail, even though 97 percent of Barron’s estate will go to the Conrad Hilton Foundation, his eight children, 15 grandchildren (including Paris and Nicky Hilton), and four great-grandchildren will still receive millions.
While Barron Hilton’s donation to charity is incredible, some believe it was a move that the one-percent use to avoid the “death tax,” which is a special tax put on a large estate when assets are transferred upon a person’s death.
An estate has to be worth millions to qualify for a death tax, but those that do can be subjected to taxes as high as 40 percent. The shrewd businessman opted to keep Uncle Sam out of it and gave the money to the charity instead so it can do a lot of good in the world and his family can still enjoy the wealth he built over the last 50+ years.