In a recent article from Yahoo Entertainment, we learned that Paulina Porizkova, the wife of the late Ric Ocasek, lead singer for the 80’s band The Cars, admitted that she was delusional about her relationship with Ric. Read the article here.
The two were married for 28 years before splitting up, but they were never legally divorced. Read our blog post about Ric Ocasek here. She admitted as much in social media posts she put on her Instagram page that when Ric cut her out of his Will, a month before his death, she was “clearly delusional” about their relationship and what she called Ric’s “definition of love”.
By all accounts, Paulina cared for Ric up until his death. She no doubt expected a share of his estate and was stunned to find out that he cut her from his Last Will. After his passing and this realization, she filed a suit against his estate, seeking a share of his fortune.
Now, none of us know what Ric’s real feelings were. We don’t know what his legal capacity was, at the time he cut out Paulina from his Will. Make no mistake that he has the right to add, or remove, anyone from his Will that he chooses. However, they were still legally married, and the law permits certain rights to spouses, referred to as “a forced share” or “spousal share” so that we can’t exactly disinherit someone we are legally married to. His estate attorney should have told him that (and maybe he/she did, but we just don’t know).
We don’t know whether Ric truly intended to leave her with nothing, or not, but it sure seems like he meant to cut her out. Yet she cared for him deeply until his passing. While caring for someone should not necessarily equate to money owed, it is common for us to want to compensate those that take care of us at the end of our lives.
The reality is that Ric may have left things exactly as he wanted, right or wrong, and Paulina may still have a valid claim as his spouse.
The truth of the matter is that if you do not want your spouse to inherit from you, you have to legally get divorced and you need a clear, concise estate plan that details your wishes. Now, whether Paulina wins her case or not, the estate is going to spend tons of money and time on lawyers, and it will cost way more than doing it right in the first place.
A lesson learned here is that your estate should be done right, the first time. If you haven't started your estate plan, now is the time! With times as uncertain as there, preparation is key. Give us a call at 978-657-7437 and we can help you get started on planning. You can even book a Strategic Planning Session with me right online by visiting BookMyplanningSession.com.
Not sure where to start when it comes to planning? Start by reading my free book Planning Ahead. In this book, I talk about the documents that are important to any estate plan as well as the benefits of getting your estate plan done. Download your free copy here.