Separated but not divorced?
Do you know someone who is separated but not divorced from a spouse?
In New York, a surviving spouse has what is called a “right of election” whereby he or she can take a share of the deceased’s spouse’s estate.
This may be so even if the decedent did not intend for the surviving spouse to share in any part of his or her estate.
This right of election proceeding can be a long-drawn out process in Surrogate’s Court creating delay and further expense in settling the estate.
Various estate planning options, such as a post-nuptial agreement or a waiver or release of the right of election, should be considered along with other documents, such as a last will and testament, trusts, lifetime transfers and etc.
The surviving spouse may also be “disqualified” as a surviving spouse for purposes of the right of election under certain circumstances.
Bottom line: This situation should be addressed head-on before it is too late. Please contact me to set-up a free consultation.