THE ASTOR MILLIONS
Interesting Problem Respecting the
Bequests to the Widow
It is possible that the will of colonel J.J. Astor, who was drowned in the “Titanic” disaster, may be upset if the officer (the Surrogate) who deals with American wills takes action on the ground that Mrs. Astor is a minor. It is pointed out that the Surrogate has the power of appointing a guardian for Mrs. Astor, as well as for the Colonel’s first two children by his first wife, and he may take the view that the widow, being a child in the eyes of the law, could not sign away her dower rights in the estate by prenuptial arrangement. Under the will, it may be recalled, Mrs. Astor loses her £1,000,000 bequest and the Astor house if she gets married. Should the Surrogate appoint a guardian for Mrs. Astor, he might consider it his duty to claim on her behalf the widow’s right to the use for life of a third of the Astor estate. An interesting lawsuit may then take place.