Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fate of Astor Fortune is Uncertain

The spectacle of the Brooke Astor trial owed much of its public fascination to celebrity and circumstance — a son accused of greedily exploiting his aging mother, a beloved philanthropist who had dedicated much of her life to charity.

Yet the conviction of Mrs. Astor’s son, Anthony D. Marshall, on charges that he stole from her has done little to resolve the uncertain fate of the $180 million estate at the heart of the discord. So even as Mr. Marshall awaits sentencing and a possible appeal, another legal showdown looms.

As the public watched the criminal trial unfold over the last five months, a small army of lawyers, including those for a dozen charities, read the tea leaves for some sense of how they could alter the jockeying over the Astor fortune. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library, the two main beneficiaries of Mrs. Astor’s largess, even sent observers to the trial.

The expected contest — which could be sidestepped by a settlement — is in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, and centers on whether Mrs. Astor’s assets should be distributed according to her most recent will, from 2002, or an earlier version, which directed more money to charity.

Full Article and Source:
Despite Verdict, Fate of Astor Fortune is Uncertain

See Also:
Astor's Son Found Guilty


AntiShyster said...

When a will is changed in the very latter part of life, and there is evidence of lack of incapacity, what more is needed to prove the earlier will, particularly if it is in keeping with all stated intentions of the testatrix?

Anonymous said...


I hope Ms. Brooke Astor drops a planet on each one of these greedy moneysucking people. Makes me want to throw up on their heads.

Another lesson learned: spend it all or burn it all, burn down the house too and teach the vultures a lesson.

Come into the world with $00.00 leave $00.00 and no one will be clawing at your purse strings or even remember your name which sounds like a good plan to me.

Anonymous said...

Watch the charities coming out of the woodwork just like roaches, to get their cut.

Anonymous said...

I think Brooke Astor would be horrified that her son was convicted.

They may not have been close - they may have even been estranged, but when it comes down to it, he was her son and I bet she loved him.

StandUp said...

On 20/20 last night, they showed Brooke Astor saying when she was to die, her foundation would die too -- that she was giving it all to charities.

Her wishes should be respected. No matter how greedy the charities may be, Anon. 3.

Norma said...

The trial was all about the things Brooke Astor had given her son --of course, the prosecution's aim was to show that he talked her out of her riches, etc.

Apparently,there was a time of her life (late) when she decided to give most of what she had away.

What I thought was interesting was that the hearing was all about Tony Marshall and what she gave him. Oh, that was so very wrong and he was a greedy son. But, it was apparently OK for her to give expensive gifts to others. The hearing didn't care about those lavish gifts.

I don't know if Marshall exploited his mother or not. But, I saw so many of the same maligning in that court as guardianship victims experience in court and that has me wonder.

Anonymous said...

With Marshall out of the way, the next round of fights between all the charities will begin.

Anonymous said...

I watched the 20/20 episode too and I was struck by the Prosecutor calling Marshall greedy -- and shaking his head in disgust. I have to admit, it make me think Marshall may have just been schnookered like the rest of us.

The fake shake of the head - like the Prosecutor could barely bring himself to say Marshall's name, is way too familiar.

jerri said...

i also saw the 20 / 20 show on this case i think her son Anthony Marshall sort of got carried away with his greed and that's what did him in it's never enough is it? well he will have a lot of time to stew to figure what this cost him now the sharks will be fighting over every last cent of Brook Astor i hope she is watching from above then spits on them right there in the courtroom now i would pay big money for viedo of that pay back