Millionaire John R. Jakobson’s son, who is the executor of his father’s will and estate, is attempting to stop Marie Squerciati from speaking out by using the dead man’s statute, which protects the assets of the dead from claims of communication by the living to serve their interests.
Wealth Advisor’s recent article, “Wall Street mogul John R. Jakobson promised mistress that their love child Marina Squerciati would get a ‘big surprise’ in his will–then left Chicago PD star Nothing” reports that documents filed with the Manhattan Surrogate Court state vague terms the man who died aged 86 in April 2017— and who reportedly had many affairs—allegedly used when stating plans for his will.
‘I’m a gentleman and you may read into that only good,” the senior Jakobson purportedly told his mistress in 1981 about their alleged daughter, now 37, who went on to star as Officer Kim Burgess on Chicago PD.
The mogul’s widow, Joan Jakobson, said she didn’t know about Marina, who kept her family life a secret, until she found out she was left out of the will. Jakobson’s three living children from his marriages were included in the will. However, the family of the man, who at 25 became one of the youngest people to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1955, has refused to acknowledge her as one of his children.
Marina is the alleged product of his affair with her mother Marie Squerciati, who was a television writer in the 1970s and 80s and reporter for the Village Voice, as well as The New York Times. The affair was said to have lasted for a year and led to Marina’s birth in 1981. For her whole life, Marina kept her father’s identity a secret, as he allegedly paid her mother $1,200 a month for more than 20 years. That monthly check was used for Marina’s nanny and for her apartment in New York City. Jakobson also reportedly paid for Marina’s schooling including the $175,000 tuition for Dalton School, then $131,000 for her education at Northwestern University, where she graduated from in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in theater.
Even though Jakobson made oral promises that he’d provide a “substantial” trust for Marina in his will, it looks like he didn’t. When Marina got engaged, her mother allegedly asked Jakobson for a gift to which he allegedly reaffirmed that she “would receive money under his will.”
In her court filings, Marina contends that the price of her silence was “extraordinary” and that she missed out on the opportunity to build a relationship with her alleged father and was denied “any relationship whatsoever with her half-siblings.”
The Squerciatis contacted his estate last fall to ask if Marina was named a beneficiary, according to court papers.
Attorneys for the family say Marina’s claims have “no basis in fact or law” and “amounts to nothing more than an avaricious attempt to enforce an alleged, vague oral promise made to [her] mother, rather than to herself, and which resulted in no legally recognizable injury to her.” They note that even if Marina could prove that Jakobson was her father, she had no written evidence of his promise to leave her money in his will… and that she had “ample opportunity as an adult” to have her father put his word in writing.
Marina was offered a $50,000 settlement by the Jakobson lawyers. This is just one of thousands examples of how improper planning can lead to bad outcomes. Submit our online form to request a consultation to speak with our estate planning attorneys about your unique situation.