No. of Recommendations: 8

SIMSBURY — When an elderly woman showed up at a small law firm several years ago and asked for help managing her estate, an attorney asked her what she thought it was worth.

Kathleen Magowan said she didn't really know. She thought maybe about $40,000.

The real answer? $6 million.

Magowan lived in a comfortable but unspectacular home on busy Route 10 in Simsbury that sold for less than $250,000 — not because it was small but because it had not been renovated in decades. She shared that home in her later years with her twin brother, Robert, who also never married and helped her manage her money. He died one year before her, leaving a gross taxable estate of $3.75 million, according to Simsbury probate records.

Robert, who worked as an agent for Prudential Insurance, was the family's financial wizard and the key to his sister's wealth accumulation — he oversaw the stocks and bonds that she largely ignored during her life. Those stocks exploded in value from the 1960s and 1970s to reach spectacular heights by 2013.


With that kind of wealth accumulation from an insurance agent, Robert must have handled her account without commission.

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