Forbes:  “The recent tragic deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain had more in common than how they died. They were both separated from their spouses at the time of their deaths.  While by all accounts these separations were amicable, the fact that they were not legally divorced can lead to a host of estate planning issues. When spouses decide to divorce, the usual framework is a process involving attorneys and the court system. But as modern family life is complex, it is becoming more common for spouses to remain permanently separated yet not divorced.  It’s a state of gray that many feel comfortable in. Unfortunately for both family law and estate law, it’s a hard place to be. Just how many couples in the U.S. permanently separate versus divorce is not clear. Most researchers find the U.S. divorce rate hovers somewhere between 42% to 45%. However, when permanent separations are factored in, it is estimated that the rate is really 50%.”