Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, March 30, 2012

Battle Over Brooke Astor Estate Settles

Brooke astorThe legal battles over  late philanthropist and New York City socialite Brooke Astor's estate began in 2007 when the socialite died at age 105. The battles focused on whether Ator’s 2002 will, an earlier version of the will, or later amended versions were the appropriate will to follow. Amended wills from 2003 and 2004 granted Anthony D. Marshall, Astor's son, greater control over the estate and left less money to charities and other institutions. Marshal and Francis Morrissey, a family attorney, were later convicted of defrauding Astor and stealing millions from her accounts. Both men are appealing their convictions.

After five years of legal battles, the numerous charities named in Astor’s will and Astor’s family have finally reached a settlement. The settlement, based on the 2002 will, disburses $30 million to benefit education in New York City and millions more to institutions including the Central Park Conservancy, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library. In all, the settlement will disburse around $100 million to charities and will slice Marshall's inheritance to around $14.5 million. Marshall, who is now eighty-eight, will also be required to pay $12.3 million under the agreement in restitution for the assets he was convicted of stealing in 2009.

See Brooke Astor Estate Settlement Reached, lohud.com, Mar. 29, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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