With the recent tragic loss of two high profile personalities, many in Florida are talking about estate planning and divorce. Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were separated from their spouses, but not yet divorced. While there is no way to know why either Spade or Bourdain chose to delay a high asset divorce, what is clear is that in doing so they complicated their estate planning.

If an individual passes away while still married, their spouse will usually have a great deal of control over their estate. That’s true even if the spouses were estranged at the time of the death. While that arrangement might work out for some, many spouses would prefer that someone else manage their final arrangements and finances.

It’s also important to consider what happens if an individual becomes incapacitated while a high asset divorce is underway. Here again, without the proper planning and documentation, the estranged spouses could be tasked with making life or death decisions on the behalf of the incapacitated party. That could lead to all kinds of complications.

The best way to address these issues is by sitting down with a Florida attorney to discuss how estate planning factors into a high asset divorce. Some cases last far longer than either party anticipated, and planning for all possible contingencies is an important step. Estate planning changes should be on every Florida spouse’s divorce to-do list, but making those changes early in the divorce process can be important if an emergency arises.