Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Musician passes away before divorcing spouse

No matter what level of income a Virginia resident earns, divorce proceedings may be complicated by many different financial and legal hurdles. It is important to understand family law options in order to make smart decisions about options for the future. These decisions may include how to address a former spouse, if at all, in testamentary documents.

According to recent reports, the frontman for the band the "Cars," Ric Ocasek, died in September after undergoing surgery and suffering from several heart-related ailments. At the time of his death he was married to model Paulina Porizkova, who had been wife for nearly 30 years. While it was Porizkova who eventually found Ocasek after his passing and with whom he was still living, Ocasek acknowledged their estrangement in his will when he stated that Porizkova had abandoned him and that she should not inherit from his estate.

Ocasek and Porizkova were planning to divorce at the time of Ocasek's death, and Porizkova did not learn of the changes to his will until after he had passed away. Although Ocasek's will identified limited tangible assets, the singer held more than $5 million in royalties from his time in the music industry. Those royalties, if considered marital property, could be part of a contentious legal battle.

This story highlights the complexities that occur when family law considerations like divorce overlap with estate planning and will executions. The resolution of this matter between Ocasek's estate and Porizkova will be interesting to discover as more information on the matter is released.

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Coates & Davenport, P.C.
5206 Markel Road Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23230

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