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Melinda Gates Hired Trust, Estate Lawyers in Divorce From Bill: Report

  • Experts told Page Six that naming trust and estate lawyers in divorce filings is unusual.
  • The move could mean that Melinda Gates wishes to change the amount that their three kids inherit.
  • Bill Gates has said that each will get $10 million, with the rest of the $130 billion going to charity.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Melinda Gates named trust and estate lawyers in her filing for divorce from Bill Gates, according to a new report from Page Six.

The premier divorce lawyer Robert Cohen, with the firm Cohen Clair Lens Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich, is representing Melinda Gates in the divorce, a firm that has also repped the likes of Michael Bloomberg and Ivana Trump, former President Donald Trump’s first wife, as Page Six notes. Melinda Gates also listed the estate planning attorney Loretta Ippolito and Bruce Birenboim with the firm Paul Weiss in her filings.

Ippolito advises clients on “complex estate planning issues,” per her profile on the Paul Weiss website, including domestic trust planning and the “disposition of appreciated property.”

Trust and estate planning lawyers typically help you plan how to leave your assets to beneficiaries upon your death, according to the personal finance website The Balance.

Experts told the outlet that it’s “most unusual for trust and estate lawyers’ names to be listed on a divorce filing,” and the move could mean that Melinda Gates may want to change the amount of money that their kids inherit.

Melinda and Bill Gates have three children together, including one who is a nationally ranked equestrian show jumper. Bill Gates has said that their children will inherit $10 million each, and the rest of the couple’s sizable $130 billion fortune will go to charity.

Representatives for Melinda and Bill Gates did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Divorce lawyer Harriet Newman Cohen told Page Six that Melinda Gates’s potential changing of their children’s inheritance could also signal a sense of empowerment as she attempts to lay claim to her portion of the vast Gates fortune.

Read more: How the ultrarich avoid messy public divorce battles by keeping their disputes out of court

Melinda and Bill Gates announced they were ending their 27-year marriage on May 3, stunning those in the technology and philanthropic worlds. 

Reports have since surfaced detailing how Melinda Gates started talking with divorce lawyers in 2019 after news became public of her husband’s ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Gates and Epstein reportedly met multiple times between 2011 and 2014.

Bill Gates said in 2019 that he had indeed met the late financier but did not have “any business relationship or friendship with him.”

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