Back in October, we reported on the case of Brooke Astor’s estate where prosecutors alleged that Brooke Astor’s son Anthony Marshall and his lawyer cheated Brooke Astor out of an estimated $60 million by convincing her to change her will when she was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The two were convicted and have now been sentenced to jail sentences of 1 – 3 years.
The sentences did not answer the question of where the $60 million in assets will ultimately go. The judge in sentencing Marshall commented that he wished he had the power to order a different sentence, that the money all go to charity. It will be the probate court in new York that will answer the question of how much Marshall will receive from his mother’s estate.
What the case has done is heighten people’s awareness of elder abuse. It is estimated that between one and five million elderly people in the United States are the victims of financial elder abuse. Many cases go unrecognized and unprosecuted. We all need to be on the alert to recognize elder abuse in our aging population and protect against what seems to be a growing trend.
Circumstances of elder abuse can arise through a misuse of a power of attorney, changes to wills or trusts, unauthorized withdrawals from elder’s accounts, and many other ways. Contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation if we can help with any elder abuse concerns.