Expectations of impending fortunes wreak havoc with children, according to Hausner. Parents would often would whisper to her, "We don't want our kids to know we're rich."
"Then get out of the million-dollar house and stop flying to Aspen," she said. "You have to tell your children: 'You will not have to save for your children's education or your retirement. We will help with the house and if you come up with a real business plan, we might help. You will make your own way and the rest we will give to philanthropy.'"
Hausner tells rich parents to give their children an allowance and teach them to divide it into three parts: one to spend immediately, another for savings to learn to delay gratification and a third to charity.
"Turning over money without training is like throwing the kid to the keys of the plane," she said. "You're going to crash it."
The fate of Marshall, who was charged with taking a $2 million commission for the sale of one of his mother's paintings, among other alleged indulgences, has yet to be decided by the courts.
Marshall and his lawyer, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., were charged Nov. 27 with stealing millions of dollars and valuable property from his mother and mishandling her will. They have pleaded not guilty.
"Brooke Astor loved Tony, her only child," said Marshall's lawyer, Kenneth E. Warner, in a prepared statement. "Whatever he received was in accordance with her wishes."
Such legal woes in inheritance cases are on the rise, according to Jordan Atin, author of "The Family War."
Old family grievances are often at the core of these lawsuits.
Marshall told New York magazine his mother felt guilty about her parenting and was trying to make up for past mistakes by late-in-life gifts and eventually changing a will some say he had forged.
"What drives these fights are relationships more than money," said Atin. "There's a lot of emotional history."
Wars like these are just "human nature," according to Atin, but are more public among the millionaire set, who can afford long and expensive legal battles.
Added Palm Beach lawyer Baskies, "This level of dispute only happens when there is that much money on the line."