In what this is messed up news, a man leaves a sadistic message final message to his son. Frank Mandelbaum, founder of Intellicheck, an ID verification company, died in 2007 and left a message to his son, Robert, that in order to receive his inheritence he had to marry and have a child with a woman.
Robert married Jonathan O’Donnell shortly after their son, Cooper, was born via gestational carrier. It’s detailed in Frank’s will that any grandchildren born would receive a stake in the trust of $180000 which his other three grandchildren are already a part of. But there’s a sadistic catch to that.
An edict stipulates that the grandchild is unable to receive the trust if Robert is “not be married to the child’s mother within six months of the child’s birth.” So basically Robert would have to live a lie in order his children to receive. This makes Cooper ineligible to have the trust as Jonathan is the other parent and the egg donor is not involved in the child’s life.
Anne Bederka, a law guardian looking out for Cooper’s best interest stated
“Requiring a gay man to marry a woman . . . to ensure his child’s bequest is tantamount to expecting him either to live in celibacy, or to engage in extramarital activity with another man, and is therefore contrary to public policy. There is no doubt that what [Frank Mandelbaum] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman.”
Robert feels that settling this legally because such a mandate to marry a woman knowing that he’s gay violates state law. Ann Freeman, wife of the deceased Frank stated in court papers that her husband’s estate would not allow Cooper to inherit from his grandfather’s estate:
“alleged that he had a son from a homosexual relationship which he believed should be a beneficiary . . . My husband’s will specifically prohibited such a child from becoming a beneficiary.”
Robert has said that his late father knew about his sexuality and about his husband, even noting that Jonathan was included in family vacations and dinners. Some sat that unless it has to do with employment that a last will can be discriminatory. How sad and honestly sadistic to leave that kind of hateful message to their family.