Dad Freezes Inheritance With Condition that Gay Son Marries a Woman
When Frank Mandelbaum, Intelli-Check founder died in 2007, his will stipulated that his son Robert’s children will only receive their inheritance, under the condition that Robert marries the child’s mother within 6 months of the birth.
The problem is that 47-year-old Robert Mendelbaum is gay, and is now married to partner Jonathan O’Donnell.
The couple are parents to a 16-month-old baby boy Cooper who was born via surrogate. And the parents are now battling in court to prove that Cooper deserves a share of the $180,000 trust and that his Frank’s will cannot be upheld, as it’s against the state’s marriage equality laws.
“ [Robert] alleged that he had a son from a homosexual relationship which he believed should be a beneficiary,” Frank’s wife Ann Freeman defended. “My husband’s will specifically prohibited such a child from becoming a beneficiary.”
“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,” Anne Bederka, the couple’s attorney countered. “There is no doubt that what [Frank] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman.”