Bloomberg News went to court in Wyoming to see details of the estate of the late John Walton, one of Sam Walton’s sons, who died 10 years ago in a plane crash. It learned that estate planning strategies used by the Walton family to reduce taxes will alter the lists compiled regularly of the world’s richest people.

Ever since Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton died 10 years ago in a plane crash, it’s been widely assumed that he passed the bulk of his vast estate to his widow, Christy.

Turns out that was very wrong.

In what’s been a closely guarded family secret, Walton gave half of his then-$17 billion estimated fortune to charitable trusts and a third to their only child, Lukas Walton, now 29, an analysis of court documents reveals. Christy got the rest.

Christy Walton, once estimated to be worth $32 billion, making her the richest American woman, is actually worth only $5 billion. Lukas is worth $11 billion. Some other wealth is in charitable hands. 


They’ll manage. Article says Lukas is a philanthropist and entrepreneur.