Frank Mandelbaum, who died in 2007 at age 73, stipulated in his will that a $180,000 trust fund be created for each of his grandchildren. When Frank’s gay son, Robert, married longtime partner Jonathan O’Donnell and began raising son Cooper, 16 months, they assumed Cooper was entitled to his share.
But Frank declared in his will that any such offspring wouldn’t be eligible if Robert didn’t marry the child’s mother “within six months of the child’s birth.”
Robert Mandelbaum, a Manhattan Criminal Court Judge, says the demand is against New York state law and that O’Donnell is the only “mother” Cooper has ever known.
According to the New York Post, The Manhattan Surrogate’s Court has yet to rule on the legality of the elder Mandelbaum’s request. But law guardian Anne Bederka, appointed to consider Cooper’s best interests, wrote that demanding Michael marry a woman “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.”
And would make for really awkward family Thanksgivings.