For those in Texas who are planning to bring their marriage to a close, updating or changing estate planning documents should be a top priority. Without those precautions, an estranged spouse could end up with full responsibility for handling every aspect of an emergency or unexpected death. That divorce and estate planning reality is evidenced in the examples of two recent celebrity suicides.
Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were estranged from their spouses when they chose to take their lives. According to reports, their spouses are now responsible for handling not only their final arrangements, but also their considerable estates. Both had minor children, and it’s possible that they intended for their spouse to inherit their estates. It’s also possible that both were dealing with serious emotional issues and simply didn’t consider what would happen to their estates after their demise.
In most cases, however, an estranged spouse is the last person one wants handling their emergency medical needs or benefiting financially from a death. However, without the right planning, that is exactly what happens in most cases. The best way to protect against that outcome is to take a proactive stance.
That involves sitting down with a Texas attorney to discuss how divorce intersects with estate planning. There are documents that can be drafted to outline an individual’s wishes in regard to who should handle medical decisions in the event of incapacitation. Other documents grant the power to manage an estate or inherit wealth. While most Texas spouses will emerge from their divorce healthy and happy, taking these precautions is important, and should not be overlooked.