How families rip off grandma

Marilyn Gardner

Aging philanthropist Brooke Astor's plight echoes that of many people her age. More seniors than ever are being financially exploited, often by family members. Plus: 7 ways to protect seniors' finances.
For decades Brooke Astor appeared regularly in the society pages of New York newspapers, a grand dame noted for her dual roles as a philanthropist and socialite. But last month she suddenly became the subject of front-page headlines. A grandson, Philip Marshall, alleges that his father, Astor's only child, has neglected her care and spent some of her money on his own business ventures.
Anthony Marshall has publicly and vigorously denied the charges, insisting that he continues to provide the best possible care for his frail 104-year-old mother. A court hearing seeks to replace Marshall, her legal guardian, with Annette de la Renta (wife of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta) and the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
Whatever the outcome of the case, the allegations deal with a subject that remains largely invisible: elder financial abuse and exploitation. No statistics measure the scope of the problem, but professionals who work with older people say . . . . .

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