In California, there is a basic body of legal instruments that the estate planning attorney will recommend. While the estate plan of a married couple contains several recognized documents, such as wills, powers of attorney, trusts and health care directives, one's estate planning tasks are not yet completed. The couple must do a final search of all assets to determine how they are titled.
As parents age, they can begin to lose their mental faculties more quickly than they realize or want to accept. While in some instances this is merely confusing, in other cases it may pose a serious threat to their own well-being and the best interests of those around them.
In the aftermath of two tragic and very high-profile deaths by suicide, it's important to consider what both individuals had in common. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were both separated from their spouses but not yet divorced. That means that, unless other provisions were made, their surviving spouses will both have the ability to benefit from and manage all aspects of their considerable estates. Whether or not that was what the parties intended is unknown, but it does underscore the importance of creating updated wills and other documents during a California separation.