04 Aug ANDERSON COOPER INHERITS $1.5 MILLION FROM HIS MOTHER, GLORIA VANDERBILT
Gloria Vanderbilt’s Will provided that her son, CNN news reporter Anderson Cooper (“Anderson Cooper 360”), will receive the residue of her estate other than her Manhattan co-op and contents therein which were bequested to another son, Charles Stokowski. Since Wills and inventory are a matter of public record (unlike trusts), the amount Anderson Cooper is to receive is approximately $1.5 million – which is surprisingly low considering she inherited the equivalent of $35 million in today’s dollars (as she was the great-great granddaughter of the famous Cornelius Vanderbilt) when she was a young girl (commonly known as “poor little rich girl”) plus being a well-known fashion designer (particularly her brand of designer jeans with her trademark swan logo) with her business reportedly worth $100 million in the 1970s.
However, due to charitable giving, four divorces and a lavish lifestyle, her fortune shrunk considerably.
One of her children, Chris Stokowski, died by suicide from the balcony of her 14thfloor apartment in1988.
It seems surprising that a well-known public figure would let her personal business be known (beneficiaries and the amount of assets) as we probably would have recommended a trust possibly with some tax planning. Wills and an Inventory are of public record unlike a trust. If she had a trust, the only asset that the public would know is that co-op would be inherited by Charles Stokowski since deeds are a matter of public record. Privacy is becoming more of a concern in this information age. If her assets were held in a trust, the public would not know about the wealth (or lack thereof) of the “poor little rich girl”.
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