Brooke Astor’s son is now facing criminal charges for the handling of his late mother’s affairs. There’s something incredibly sad and yet intriguing about these cases where the child has allegedly turned against the parent. Often, as was the case for Astor, millions of dollars are at stake.
It reminds me of the well-documented battles of Sumner Redstone and his son and the emotional drama in the Pritzker family, among others. It’s hard not to feel a touch of schadenfreude at signs of turmoil among the rich and famous.
The lesson here is not to keep a firm handle on your affairs. Astor was 105 when she died and apparently not in a lucid mental state during her later years. Warren Buffett, for one, has found one solution: Give most of it away before your kids can have more say about it than you do.
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