Lady Brooke Astor was a beloved philanthropist of New York’s high society. She died in 2007, leaving an estate valued at $185 million. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease stole her later years. As a result, she fell victim to devastating elder abuse from her son, Anthony Astor.
Taking advantage of her condition, he convinced her she was going broke. He sold valuable pieces from her art collection and funneled nearly $1 million into his personal projects. He also reduced her care, resulting in severe neglect. She spent her days in a filthy nightgown. Her luxury apartment fell into ruin.
Money Is No Protection Against Elder Abuse
Lady Astor’s grandson, Philip Marshall, brought charges against his father, Anthony Astor, for his abusive acts. After the 6-month trial, investigations revealed that Anthony had, indeed, stolen $60 million from his mother’s estate. With her impaired mental abilities, it was easy to persuade his mother to make periodic, favorable adjustments to her will.
As a result of these investigations, Philip Marshall has become an outspoken advocate in the fight against elder abuse. He remarked, “When I was trying to protect my grandmother, I thought the financial exploitation was the least of the problems. It ended up finances were the key.”
“It’s back to engaging in relationships and making sure you’ve got people in your life who will watch your back. It sometimes takes just one person or three or five people in your life who are checking in—and cultivating those relationships.”
Have the Conversation
As Philip Marshall recommends, it’s important to have these discussions to properly plan for care. Lady Astor’s family and advisors failed to protect her. While your own estate may only be a fraction of her original value, the consequences of neglect cross all social and economic borders.
An easy starting point is to research options through long term care insurance (LTCi) so your needs are properly addressed. Click here to receive your free no-obligation quote on your own LTCi policy.