Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Astor Update: History Repeats Itself


I recently posted an update on the contest surrounding the estate of the late Mrs. Brooke Astor here. Fifty years ago, Mrs. Astor herself faced accusations similar to one of the accusations currently asserted against her son.  Note, however, that the accusations against Mrs. Astor were not criminal and were not nearly as serious.

Here is a summary of what happened: 

  • Vincent Astor, Mrs. Astor's husband, died in 1959, leaving a will.
  • Vincent's disinherited brother accused Mrs. Astor of asserting undue influence over her late husband by persuading him to change his will before his death. 
  • Mrs. Astor defended herself by claiming that Vincent despised his slacker brother. 
  • Mrs. Astor eventually settled the dispute for $250,000.

See John Eligon, Fight for Astor Estate Mirrors Battle 50 Years Ago, NY Times, April 25, 2009.


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While I understand that interfearing with someone's will is a serious offense, i'm afraid that cause of action has quickly become a way of circumvening the departing party's specific intentions. See: Marshall v. Marhsall.

Posted by: MJP 1221 | May 25, 2009 7:15:13 PM

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