Woman rejects a $ 4 billion dollar inheritance:…
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Woman rejects a $ 4 billion dollar inheritance: "I wouldn't be happy with all that money and I don't want to be rich"

August 22, 2022 • By Mark Bennett

There are people in the world who would do anything to be able to win the lottery or get awarded a large inheritance. Getting a windfall like this, these people believe, will solve all their economic problems and, perhaps, allow them to indulge in some luxuries. Such situations rarely happen and finding lucky people like this is a rarity. But what if does happen and the lucky person, faced with the opportunity of becoming very rich indeed, decides to renounce this fortune in favour of the principles they believe in?

Do you think it is not possible? Well, you would be wrong and the proof is evidenced by Marlene Engelhorn, a young woman who has decided to renounce her inheritance in order not to betray her principles. Here is her story:

Marlene Engelhorn is a 29-year-old Austrian woman who has caused a bit of a stir. Why? For refusing a $ 4 billion inheritance. That's right, and we're not joking. The young woman, in order to remain consistent and respectful of the principles in which she has always believed, decided that she would not accept any money which she had not earned herself. This was a very courageous choice, we cannot deny this fact. Who, in her shoes, would have done the same as Marlene? Nobody? Very few? We do not know: what is certain, is that she has decided to do this.

"I could never be happy with all that money," said Marlene. She continued: "It's not fair that I get this money - it doesn't belong to me because I didn't do anything to earn it and it's all about fairness". Marlene's words are powerful, but puzzling at the same time.

One of the first reasons why she decided not to accept the inheritance lies in the social commitment this woman has shown from a very young age. Thanks to her beliefs - shared by others from well-off families - a social movement was started, called the AG Steuersrechtigkeit (also known as Taxminus). This movement describes how wide the gap between rich and poor in the world is getting and how necessary it is to fight against this. According to Marlene, there should be greater economic and social equality between people, which would make everyone's daily lives easier to deal with. And in order to do this, one step Marlene advocates is about raising the taxes one those who have vast amounts of wealth.

Given this, then, Marlene could not accept such a large sum of money that suddenly came into her hands. She categorically refused to accept her inheritance: "It is not up to me to administer money that I have not earned and it would also take up too much of my time. This does not suit my future plans or my moral principles".

And so, this is how it happened that the legacy of BASF - one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with an annual turnover of $ 78 million dollars - was "renounced" by Marlene.


This was a courageous decision that does Marlene honor - above all, because she has not betrayed her principles. If, in fact, she had accepted what she herself calls "a lucky win in the lottery of birth", she would no longer have been credible at demonstrations calling for tax increases on the rich and crusading for social equality.

What do you think about this story?

Tags: WtfWomenStories

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