There was a recent question asked online at the Miami Herald concerning a closely held company and the fact that a gentleman thought that his parents had divorced, however when his father died, his mother petitioned for her spousal elective share of his father's estate based on the fact that her divorce with the man's father had never been finalized. In Florida there is no such thing as a legal separation, therefore, you are either married or not. If you never petition and finalize a divorce, a husband and wife may be allowed all their spousal privileges in the event one party dies. Additionally, after a divorce many people fail to change beneficiaries on their life insurance policy or beneficiaries in their will. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you take care of estate issues both during and after a divorce, or after you separate from your spouse. If this does not happen you run the risk of your estate being distributed in a way that goes against your wishes in the event of a divorce.
If you would like to read the article that this blog is based upon, see: http://www.miamiherald.com/103/story/97469.html