In case you haven't seen it, the couple are currently being dragged over a resurfaced report that their two children — 8-year-old Wyatt and 6-year-old Dimitri — won’t be inheriting a single dime of their parents’ hefty fortune.
Ashton first talked about this during an interview in 2018 when he told Dax Shepard that he and Mila have no intentions of setting up a trust for their kids. (For context, the couple’s combined net worth is reported to be around $275 million.)
“I’m not setting up a trust for them,” he said at the time. “We’ll end up giving our money away to charity and to various things.”
And while it might sound harsh, it seems there’s pretty legitimate reasoning behind the decision, with Ashton admitting that he wants his children to grow up knowing the value of hard work without being handed anything for free.
“My kids are living a really privileged life, and they don’t even know it. And they’ll never know it because this is the only one that they’ll know,” he said.
The actor did go on to say there are exceptions to the rule. Like, for example, if one of his kids came up with a great business idea, he’d be more than happy to lend them some money to get the plan off the ground.
“If my kids want to start a business, and they have a good business plan, I’ll invest in it. But they’re not getting trusts,” he said.
Despite making the confession more than five years ago, Ashton and Mila’s financial plan is making headlines once again thanks to a popular Twitter account that reposted their plan earlier this week.
The tweet has amassed more than 100,000 likes — and it’s safe to say that people have a lot of opinions on the matter.
Of course, most people are shocked by the plan, with many pointing out that it could come as a bit of a surprise to the kids once they’re grown up.
“Imagine being lucky enough to be born into wealth and your parents tell you ‘WE’RE rich, not you.’ lmao,” one person tweeted in response to the post.
Someone else joked that perhaps Ashton and Mila got wind of all the nepotism discourse and decided they wanted to protect their kids in advance, writing: “they saw how you’ve been cooking nepo babies on here.”
And while most people took a pretty lighthearted view of the situation, there were a handful of Twitter users who felt that the decision not to leave your children a single dime when you’re that wealthy is bordering on mean, even if you’ve got good intentions at heart.
“I get the instinct to be repelled by ostentatious displays of wealth but there is really absolutely nothing admirable about refusing to let your children reap the fruits of your labor sorry. If not for your children then for who,” someone replied, echoed by another who described it as “genuinely evil.”
“I’m sorry but this is just wickedness,” someone else added. “I’d love to set my children up for success somehow, giving every single penny to charity is like???”
“I understand that you want your children to have values and work for stuff but like come on LMFAOOOOOO,” another user wrote in response.
Standing in the middle of the debate, there were some who felt that perhaps there might be a more appropriate middle ground, like a check for “a cute $1 million.”
“I feel like when celebs do this it’s their way of trying to acknowledge their privilege and then they do something drastic like this!” someone replied, theorizing that the extreme measures might be a bit of an overcorrection for the über-wealthy. “It’s totally okay to help your kids.”
Now, if you’re reading all this and thinking it sounds a little familiar, you’re not the only one. In fact, a ton of users responded to the tweet by comparing it to a pretty memorable storyline on HBO’s Succession, in which Cousin Greg decides to take legal action against Greenpeace after discovering that his inheritance will be donated to the charity instead of him.
“maybe the children should sue the charities,” one person suggested, taking inspiration from Greg.
All jokes aside, a number of people were quick to point out that Ashton and Mila’s kids will likely be totally fine — besides, if the “nepo baby” discourse taught us anything, it’s that connections are everything, and we have no doubt that the Kutcher kids will still be able to reap the benefits of their privileged upbringing further down the road.
“It’s fine, just because they’re the children of a famous couple, they will have opportunities a little easier than the others,” one person replied, firmly putting the conversation to rest.
And while Ashton and Mila appear to be taking a lot of heat for their stance, it’s only fair to point out that they definitely aren’t the only celebs who've made it clear that their kids won’t be getting a trust fund.
Bill Gates, for example, once said that he and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, feel better about handing over their fortunes to charities rather than their children. The Microsoft founder explained that it’s “not a favor” to give your kids huge sums of money, because it “distorts anything they might do.”
Other notable names on the same page include celebrities like Simon Cowell, Daniel Craig, and Elton John, all of whom have said they’re going to donate their wealth to charity rather than hand it down to their kids.