If you are contemplating divorce or living together but separated, you need to talk to an estate planner. Sometimes staying in the "grey zone" and not making a decision can be the worst possible decision for not only your assets but your children.
For example; if you cannot live with your spouse, do you want her/him to get your house when you die? Not everybody needs a will, but if you die without a will while you are still married, your house goes to your spouse. Even if your will was made before you got married, your spouse is still entitled to half your estate, the same as if you had died without a will.
Some couples are “ABD” – All But Divorced – living in harmony separated from each other, but in Pennsylvania, unless they are divorced, they are still married. Should one of them die without a will, that person’s assets get distributed by the State according to the legal formula of Intestate Succession. Part of that formula is that the living husband or wife is entitled to the homestead property (unless there is a properly executed marital agreement).
Divorce does not have to be expensive and it does not have to take a long time. If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then a divorce can be over and done with in 90 days.
Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your choices in estate planning, and your choices in the dissolution of marriage. Click here to talk to an attorney about how a divorce or staying married will affect your children and assets. Sallen Law proudly serves Philadelphia, the Main Line, MontgomeryCounty, Chester County, Delaware County and Bucks County as well as southern New Jersey.