Normally when people have billions of dollars, they do not lose it all. It is difficult to lose that much money in one lifetime. However, that may have happened to one man who was once the second richest man in Russia.
At one point Boris Berezovsky was believed to be the second richest tycoon in Russia. However, he found himself at odds with Vladimir Putin and eventually left the country.
Recently, he was found hanged to death in the United Kingdom. Given who he is and the circumstances of his life, there is some mystery surrounding his death. Some people believe that he committed suicide, but his family believes that he was killed for criticizing Putin.
Interestingly, the coroner's report is uncertain about the cause of death.
Now, it appears the Berezovsky's UK estate is worth nothing, not even a single penny, as the Daily Mailreports in "Russian 'billionaire' Boris Berezovsky found dead in bath last year left nothing in his will after dying penniless."
What is not known is where all of the money went or where it may yet be held. Is it in unknown offshore trusts and bank accounts?
Berzovsky also died without an estate plan. Consequently, if his estate did have value its eventual distribution would be determined by UK courts.
This is an unusual case as it is not often that a billionaire loses absolutely everything.
Still, it is difficult to draw too many lessons from it, as it is not yet clear what happened to the money. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to not have an estate plan and leave things up to the government to sort out.
Reference: Daily Mail (November 22, 2014) "Russian 'billionaire' Boris Berezovsky found dead in bath last year left nothing in his will after dying penniless"