Posted by Adrian P. Thomas on October 28th, 2009 | No Comments »
State v. Marshall ends after six month trial.
“Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around.”—Brooke Astor
I have previously written about Meryl Gordon’s recent book Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach as an outline of what can happen when wealth meets the dysfunctional family. As readers may know, the late philanthropist Brooke Astor’s probate estate was the subject of litigation and criminal charges in New York.
Brook Astor inherited over $60 million when her husband died in 1953. Amazingly, between then and 2003, she changed her last will and testament no less than 38 times. Evidently, Ms. Astor detested her son, Anthony Marshall’s third wife, Charlene, and began making changes to her will at the end of her life to insure that Charlene did not inherit any of the family fortune.
Prosecutors charged in an eighteen count indictment that Anthony and his lawyer, Francis Morrisey, conspired to make changes to Ms. Astor’s last will and testament long after she had the mental capacity to understand what was happening. Mrs. Astor, who had Alzheimer’s disease, was 105 when she died in August 2007. There has also been evidence introduced in the trial suggesting that Marshall and his lawyer forged Ms. Astor’s name on the last will and testament so as to shift almost $200 million to Marshall and Charlene. Read the rest of this entry