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All in the Family

Posted by: Diane Brady on November 26, 2007

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.

Reader Comments


November 26, 2007 7:07 PM

Brooke Astor seemed like she was a first class lady. Of course in wealth but in personality as well. Some people has it; some people don't. She had both. Her son is old. If she was still alive and in good mind, she'd probably give him the money and wish him luck. She may be poorer but happy. As for him, who knows. Karma takes care of all that. Thomas H.


November 27, 2007 3:33 PM

Intriguing is the wrong choice of words
Intriguing about a son turning on his parents. Who writes these columns.
Intriguing would be to the person
behind madness and greed.

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