Jan 07, 2008

The meek shall get duped by their estate attorneys

handshake.jpgHow many lawyers does it take to convince an elderly person into giving away money? Two, according to allegations against two New York attorneys. By befriending the rich and famous of Manhattan, a legal tag-team collaborated in some creative estate planning -- one lawyer doing the drafting, the other one on the receiving end of some hefty bequests. In addition, one of the lawyers (who befriended Brooke Astor's 83-year old son) allegedly forged Ms. Astor's signature on the final amendment to her will.

How much had one of the lawyers previously taken out of a client's escrow account before being suspended by the New York Bar in 1996? Almost a million dollars. Why did he take the money? Apparently the client had balked at the bill and the lawyer decided to take things into his own hands ... err, pockets. The lawyer was reinstated to practice two years later.  

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