Fight for Astor Estate Mirrors Battle 50 Years Ago





A battle is raging over the Astor fortune.

The main beneficiary is accused of scheming with others to drain the estate. The deceased, it is alleged, did not have the mental capacity to execute the will. Document experts have been asked to examine the authenticity of the will, the credibility of the witnesses to its signing has been questioned and the court fight has been a headline-grabbing sensation.

Sound familiar?

It might. But this probably is not the case you are thinking of.
The year was 1959. John Jacob Astor VI accused Brooke Russell Astor of using “improper conduct and undue influence” to persuade her husband, Vincent Astor, who had died from a heart attack at 67, to change his will. When Vincent signed off on his will, he “was mentally deficient,” claimed John Jacob, his half brother.

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