Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Brooke Astor Update

AstorEarlier on this blog, I reported on allegations that Anthony Marshall has been mistreating his mother, Brooke Astor, and his response to those allegations.

The following developments are reported in Serge F. Kovaleski, Will of Mrs. Astor, Now 105, Gives Millions to Family and to Charity, NY Times, June 24, 2007:

      • Brooke turned 105 years old in March 2007.
      • The terms of her will, unknown publicly until recently, detailed gifts to her son Anthony (primary beneficiary), daughter-in-law Charlene (specific gifts of clothes and jewelry), grandsons ($1 million each), and New York City public school teachers (travel endowment), among others.
      • The value of Brooke's estate is estimated to be $130 million plus the trust of her deceased husband valued at an additional $60 million.
      • A fight over the validity of the will and several codicils is likely to occur after her death on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and forgery.  These codicils enhanced the share of her estate to be received by or controlled by her son.

Special thanks to Dr. Natalie Tarenko for bringing this article to my attention.


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For me, the main question is: how could this impending tragedy have been avoided? Or does any huge estate inherently have problems like this, because it brings out equally huge amounts of human greed?

Posted by: Angie Hartford | Jun 28, 2007 4:22:01 PM

i note with interest your article on mrs brookes astor, , my grandfather J J Astor was cheated out of his rightful estate by his half brother vincent astor,.
even down to today, this has
continued with me, my father the son of J J Astor, holds for me a trust fund created for me by my grandfather J J Astor and his wife, my grandmother ellen tuck french

my father william astor has denied me all information on this trust fund, and all documentation on this, however, he still need,s my signature to approve of anything he doe,s within the trust fund.
i wish to break this trust fund, and dissolve it, so that the asset,s of it will start a new Astor empire,not have it locked away, where possible corrupt act,s are being carried out by my father behind my back

As far as mrs brooke Astor,s Estate is concerned, my great uncle william vincent astor cheated J J Astor out of his rightful inheritance, and i may yet contest this matter, i only wish i could contact serge f kolvaleski as i would have this printed in the NY Times.
i can prove who i am, and will furnish proof of identity when it is required

william backhouse Astor Jnr,


formally of the USA.

Posted by: william b astor iv | Jul 20, 2007 10:13:37 AM

I william backhouse Astor IV state that mrs brooke astor was givien most of her estate by my grandfather,s half brother william vincent astor, and i may yet contest the will that she made.
also i am about to start desolving my trust fund left to me by my grandfather J J Astor and my grandmother Ellen Tuck french, as this is in my fathers hands ,william astor, and he is mis using the trust fund, and not being honest and giving me any record,s or accounting of it what ever, even though i am the sole beneficiary.

william b astor

formerly of the U S A

Posted by: william b astor IV | Jul 20, 2007 3:50:24 PM

Will, this is your cousin Elly Watson. Where are you? Remember Aunt's Ellys awful room where we watched TV? Please get in touch with me. My father "Sonny" as your Grandmother called him, just recenly died too. So sorry about your Mom and Dad. How can I help.

Elly Watson Kinsella

Posted by: Eleanor Watson | Mar 23, 2009 2:55:20 PM

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