Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain had more in common than their unfortunate, untimely ends. They were both amicably separated from their spouses, though Bourdain's was more readily known. Because neither were legally divorced their estranged spouses will retain the rights given to them under their marriage, which could include handling their estates and funerals.
Gladys Bourdain, Anthony's mother, told the media that she was unsure of funeral plans yet as his estranged spouse is still legally his next of kin. She was quoted as saying, “Although they are separated, she’ll be in charge of whatever happens."
Though many rights of a spouse cannot be permanently extinguished until a divorce is granted, one thing a person may choose to do after permanently separating from their spouse is to create a new Health Care Directive. It is not required that a spouse be on the document and you may lay out your desired funeral arrangements as well. This document is also state specific.
See Megan Gorman, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and Estate Planning When You Are Seperated, Forbes, June 12, 2018.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.