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WHEN CAPITALISM AND ALTRUISM COLLIDE

WHEN CAPITALISM AND ALTRUISM COLLIDE

I recently watched the movie “All the Money in the World.” It was great. It is true story of the
grandson of John Paul Getty, Sr. being kidnapped for ransom, and the events that occurred to
set his grandson free. In 1957, Fortune Magazine named John Paul Getty, Sr. as the richest man
in the world, worth approximately $1.2B (approximately $25.8B in today’s dollars). He founded
the Getty Oil Company. Mr. Getty was an avid collector of all things rare, paintings, historical
artifacts, and antiques. His collection formed the basis of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los
Angeles, and over $661M of his estate was left to the museum after his death. He established
the J. Paul Getty Trust in 1952. The trust is the world’s wealthiest art institution, and operates
the many museums in his name. He died in 1976, leaving an amazing legacy of art for people to
admire for generations to come.

When a movie involves people who amassed fortunes, and then upon death, leaving a long
lasting legacy, my interest is always immediately piqued. I am a big fan of the amazing benefits
of capitalism in the United States being turned into long lasting altruistic impact upon a
person’s death. I think about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. He and his wife Joan were
very charitable. Ray died in 1984 and his entire estate went to Joan. Joan died in 2003, and
prior to her death, she spent a lot of time meeting with various large charitable organizations.
She was deciding the legacy she and Ray were going to leave behind. Joan chose the Salvation
Army to be the recipient of the majority of her fortune. It was the largest donation the
organization ever received, $1.5 billion dollars. Joan specifically wanted to have 26 Kroc Centers
to be built in underserved communities to provide opportunity, education, recreation and
inspiration for such communities. The programs must include education, fitness, arts and
worship, according to Joan’s instructions. In 2016, the Ray and Joan Kroc Center was opened in
the South Side of Chicago. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to volunteer there in
its opening year, and was amazed by how much it offers. The Kroc Centers are all around the
country and they provide millions of children and families a place to learn and grow, and stay
safe. In my opinion, that is the best way you leave a legacy.

About the author
Maritess T. Bott, of Bott & Associates, Ltd. is an estate planning attorney in Rolling Meadows,
Illinois, a Northwest suburb of Chicago. She has been an attorney since 1997, and has helped
hundreds of families have peace of mind by protecting their wealth, and preserving their
relationships. She has been a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
since 2003, a nationally recognized organization of attorneys who specialize in estate planning
and probate. If you are interested in more information, you may check out
www.bottestateplanning.com.

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