The 95-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt was “a vestige of another era, reminiscent of Brooke Astor in her longevity and tangible connection to the Gilded Age of railroad and oil barons, who left their mark on New York society,” said Trust Advisor in its recent article, “Does A Long Island Landscaper (And Not Anderson Cooper) Inherit Gloria Vanderbilt’s Fortune?”
However, unlike Brooke Astor, Vanderbilt was born in the limelight. Her long life started in the center of dynastic politics that got both messy and public. She and her trust fund became commodities in her parents’ divorce.
It’s reported that she had to sell off a few houses to pay the tax bills. Anything left behind is well-hidden in some estate planning documents. With her family fortune dwindling over time, Vanderbilt’s fashion empire came and went. However, the distributions kept coming to fill the holes. The old Vanderbilt fortune may be gone.
Her children and grandchildren built the careers they wanted, investing their inheritances into passion projects, with little or no immediate payday. Some are novelists, filmmakers, and TV journalists. Gloria built a fashion empire of her own.
As the baby, Anderson was closest to his mother. He has probably accumulated the most personal wealth after years on CNN, so he doesn’t need his mom’s money. Her oldest son Stan probably doesn’t need the money either.
Stan has a successful landscaping business in Long Island. Any Vanderbilt money he inherited along the way, is probably well invested.
There’s also a third son, Stan’s brother Chris. He walked out years ago and never really came back, at least publicly. It’s assumed that he was disinherited at the time. Now, no one is sure if Gloria wrote him out of the will. She may have written him back in. There was allegedly a bit of a thaw in the last few years.
But the moral of the story is, with a well-crafted estate plan, the public may (and likely should) never know what she left her children and in what amounts.
Reference: Trust Advisor (June 17, 2019) “Does A Long Island Landscaper (And Not Anderson Cooper) Inherit Gloria Vanderbilt’s Fortune?”