Who will control Samsung has been the subject of much public curiosity since the father’s death. The company accounts for one-fifth of South Korea’s total exports. Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the group, alone posted $213 billion in revenue and $32 billion in operating profit last year.

Lee Jae-yong has been running the conglomerate since a heart attack incapacitated his father in 2014. He owns only 0.7 percent of Samsung Electronics but holds 17.5 percent of Samsung C&T, a subsidiary created through the 2015 merger. His siblings also hold smaller stakes, giving the family a controlling stake in the company.

Through a web of circular holdings, the family continues to control the conglomerate. ​Samsung C&T owns 5 percent of Samsung Electronics and 19.3 percent of Samsung Life. Samsung Life owns 8.5 percent of Samsung Electronics.

Lee Kun-hee owned 4.18 percent of Samsung Electronics, as well as 20.7 percent of Samsung Life. How those stocks will be divided among ​the family will affect the son’s chances of running the business.

By law, the chairman’s widow, Hong Ra-hee, is entitled to one-third of the total inheritance, with the rest split equally among ​Mr. ​Lee and his two sisters. But chaebol families often reach a private agreement to ensure that the eldest son controls the company.

Some South Koreans on Wednesday were ​amazed to learn the amount of inheritance taxes to be paid by the Lee family.

“Ordinary people like me can’t fathom how much it is,” said Park Soon-mi, a stay-at-home parent in Seoul. “It’s good for the chairman to ​​leave so much money in taxes and make such big donations for the society.”

Others were not so impressed.

This is not the first time the Lee family has promised to use its wealth to benefit society as part of a larger scheme. Back in 2008, when Lee Kun-hee was indicted on charges of evading taxes, Samsung said he would use the money “not for the chairman or his family, but for some beneficial causes.”

The family had not kept its word until Wednesday, said Kang Jong-min, a chaebol expert at the civic group Solidarity for Economic Reform in Seoul. “It is belatedly following up on its old promise.”

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